Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.
In this enchanting story by beloved author Alice Hoffman, love and friendship are truly magical.
“Alice Hoffman’s latest book comes loaded with enchantments. Some are explicitly fantastical: a curse from a brokenhearted witch with real-world consequences, a winged boy who learns the language of birds. But some of the magic is of a subtler kind — hours that seem to mysteriously vanish in shared conversation, loneliness transformed by the alchemy of new friendship… Hoffman has a beautiful way of throwing open a door on possibility so that the reader begins to see magic everywhere…Hoffman reminds us that there are secrets everywhere, and in these moments of unexpected discovery, Nightbird soars.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Once again, Hoffman (Green Angel) works her magic to transport readers to a realm where enchantment intermingles with everyday realities. …The book’s evocative setting and distinctive characters will immediately hook readers, and the history of Twig’s family, uncovered bit by bit, will keep them engaged. The risks Twig takes in reaching out to the Hall sisters bring gratifying rewards and unexpected connections to others in the community.”
“Twig Fowler and her mother keep to themselves so that their neighbors in Sidwell, Massachusetts, won’t discover their secret: Twig’s older brother James has wings, thanks to a generations-old curse laid upon all Fowler men by Agnes Early, the Witch of Sidwell. Against their mother’s warnings, Twig befriends Julia, a descendent of Agnes Early, and James falls in love with Julia’s sister Agate, relationships that will ultimately bring secrets to light. Hoffman creates a witchy small town New England setting but populates it with realistic characters such as twelve-year-old Twig, who desperately wants a friend. Twig’s entirely mundane broken arm, incurred in a fall from a tree, contrasts nicely with James’s wings, which allow him to fly but keep him from living a normal life. The tone, mystical but not too dark, makes this a good choice for readers who want to imagine just a bit of magic in their lives.”
—Shoshana Flax, The Horn Book
“Alice Hoffman sets Nightbird in an idyllic village in western Massachusetts, a pretty place of apple orchards that is marred only by rumors of a mysterious birdlike presence, “a monster in our midst, half man, half myth... In this memorable work of magical realism, things begin to change for Twig, and her family, when descendants of the witch move into a cottage nearby.”
—The Wall Street Journal, Read the review
“I love the way Alice Hoffman creates the most ordinary people and then turns their lives magical. She does it here once again, in Nightbird. The book is like re-entering in a wonderful dream that you vaguely remember.”
—Lois Lowry, author of The Giver; two-time Newbery Medalist
“I loved Nightbird. Such a clever mix of fantasy and reality; the fantasy is so persuasively meshed with the story that the reader accepts everything. Alice Hoffman enters brilliantly into the twelve year old mind, and winds her account of a disordered family into the twists and turns of an elegantly crafted narrative in which past and present unite to solve a magically intriguing problem of witches, feathers and owls.”
—Penelope Lively, winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Booker Prize