From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–The summer of 1960 is an eventful and special time for Nick. His mom meets Glen, the new handyman in town; Nick learns a bit more about his father, who died in the Korean War; and he finds a tiny mockingbird that, through nurturing, becomes a healthy, and seemingly happy, adult. As boy and bird bond, Marcy teaches Nick about true friendship–about loving someone enough to allow them their freedom. Plausibly written in a voice that seems appropriate for a 10-year-old boy, the story is both realistic and tender. Soft, realistic pencil vignettes and full-page drawings are nice touches that add to the storys nostalgia. Bowman shows a young bird sitting in her newspaper-lined box, and a young adult Marcy flying through Fourth of July sparklers, perching on Nicks knee as he sits quietly thinking in the large sewer pipe that is his secret place, and standing on his seed-filled hand. A note on the habits of mockingbirds is appended. Young people who enjoyed Sterling Norths Rascal
(Puffin, 1990) will love Nicks story as well.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It's June 1960, and 10-year-old Nick, who lives with his long-widowed mother, finds a baby bird in the road. He rescues it, names it Marcy, coaxes it to eat worms, and comes to love the young mockingbird, which thrives under his care through July and August. One friend shares his affection for Marcy, while a less sympathetic neighbor does not. From Nick's first reaction to the bird--when he waits from a distance to see if other birds will go to its aid--to his decision to leave Marcy uncaged while he is away for a week, the narrative shows a fundamental respect for the bird as a wild animal rather than a pet. The book's final short section takes place 10 months after the story began and updates readers on changes in Nick's world as well as what remains constant. An appended "Note on Mockingbirds" provides a bit of information on the characteristics and habits of the species. Shaded pencil drawings illustrate this graceful story with sensitivity and subtlety. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved