Having left her Cleveland home to search for her stepfather, 13-year-old Bird becomes all but invisible as she lurks around the edges of the small town of Acorn, Alabama. Gradually, she makes her way into the lives of a few of the townspeople who seem to understand the fact that she is "living under the radar." Ethan, Jay, and Mrs. Pritchard each have a common bond with this quiet, searching girl: they have all experienced some trouble in their lives. Using simple yet poetic language and narration by three different characters, the author allows the stories of each character to slowly unfold. In the end, Bird doesn't find exactly what she was looking for, but she does find what she needs.
Listed as one of the "Best Books for Young Adults 2005" by the American Library Association.
"Johnson's prose is eloquent and poetic in this spare, powerful novel about matters of the heart"
"Readers see how small kindnesses can ease the grip of grief and how large gestures-the literal giving of a heart-can rebound to the giver's credit."
-School Library Journal
"Johnson writes with a poet's knowledge of rhythm and knows how to use the space between words."