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Catherine, Called Birdy

Catherine, Called Birdy
Newbery Honor Book
"Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life!!"

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man—any rich man, no matter how awful.

But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call—by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all. Unfortunately, he is also the richest.

Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father? Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

Readers have purchased more than 1,775,000 copies.


Discussion guide

Bookstorm, a companion books list, and a visual for Smartboard display

Interview and reading on TeachingBooks.net

The World in Birdy's Time, 1290 AD, Bookology magazine

My Bookshelves: Medieval Times: Some of the books I used for research while writing about Birdy and the times in which she lived. I hope you enjoy reading them or using them for your own writing.


ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Notable Book for Children
ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
Booklist Editors' Choice
Golden Kite Award
Horn Book Fanfare Selection
IRA Teachers' Choice
Newbery Honor Book
School Library Journal, Best Books of the Year
American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists"
South Carolina Book Award
New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Awards
Commonwealth Club Silver Medal
Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
Commonwealth Club of California Medal
Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award
International Board on Books for Young People Honor List
ABC Children's Booksellers Choice Award


"This unusual book provides an insider's look at the life of Birdy, 14, the daughter of a minor English nobleman. The year is 1290 and the vehicle for storytelling is the girl's witty, irreverent diary. … Superb historical fiction." (School Library Journal, starred review)

"The period has rarely been presented for young people with such authenticity; the exotic details will intrigue readers while they relate more closely to Birdy's yen for independence and her sensibilities toward the downtrodden. Her tenacity and ebullient naiveté are extraordinary; at once comic and thought-provoking, this first novel is a delight." (Kirkus Reviews, with pointers)

Karen Cushman books Catherine, Called Birdy The Midwife's Apprentice The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Matilda Bone Alchemy and Meggy Swann Will Sparrow's Road The Loud Silence of Francine Green Rodzina Grayling's Song War and Millie McGonigal
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