Bird in a Box
Bird in a Box

List Price:

School Discount

Discount Price:

Discount Price:

Discount Price:

Discount Price:

To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: In 1936, three children meet at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans in New York State, and while not all three are orphans, they are all dealing with grief and loss which together, along with the help of a sympathetic staff member and the boxing matches of Joe Louis, they manage to overcome. Includes author's notes.
Catalog Number: #50644
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 278 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-07402-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-49683-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-07402-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-49683-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010022851
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Bookended by two historic Joe Louis fights s first professional loss, to Max Schmeling in 1936, and then his world heavyweight bout with James J. Braddock in 1937 is well-crafted novel follows three young boxing fans. Pinkney instills a distinct narrative voice for each character: the sweet-singing, jazz-club-aspiring Hibernia; the riddle-quoting orphan Otis; and the young boxer Willie. After Willie has his hands crippled by his abusive father, he runs away and befriends Otis at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans. Meanwhile, Hibernia's "pink-fried" vocal stylings are too sassy for her church choir leader, but at a concert for the orphans, Otis becomes about as sweet on her as can be. As Louis gets closer to his heavyweight-title shot, the three kids band together to root on their hero. Children who have graduated from Matt de la Peña and Kadir Nelson's excellent A Nation's Hope (2011) will be shown just how culturally significant Louis really was with this stirring novel, which also scores high marks as a satisfying read for both boys and girls.
Horn Book
In alternating chapters, three preadolescent African American narrators--Hibernia, Otis, and Willie--reveal their deep private pain. As their lives intersect during the year before Joe Louis wins his heavyweight championship fight, the three young people prove resilient and receptive to friendship. Despite its serious issues, a humorous tone ripples throughout this well-researched, well-voiced historical novel. Reading list.
Publishers Weekly
This rich historical novel offers an unsentimental and sometimes humorous glimpse into the Great Depression. Pinkney (Sit-In) alternates between the first-person perspectives of three resilient and tenacious protagonists-12-year-old minister-s daughter Hibernia, aka Bernie, who dreams of becoming a jazz singer like her absent mother; 13-year-old abused and abandoned Willie, who must relinquish his dreams of boxing after his father burns his hands; and orphaned 12-year-old Otis, who comforts himself with the riddles his parents loved. Both Willie and Otis live in the Mercy Orphanage, where kind, spunky manager Lila Weiss is both a child advocate and motherly figure. Famed African American boxer Joe Louis, whose matches Bernie, Willie, and Otis listen to on the radio, serves as both a powerful symbol and unifying thread in the story (-When Joe Louis fights, it-s more than just throwing punches,- Otis-s mother tells him. -That boy-s fighting for the pride of Negroes-). Pinkney enlivens potentially remote historical circumstances through her sympathetic characters who, despite the constraints of their era, struggle for dignity and human connection on their own terms. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;7&12; It is 1936, and the country is struggling in the midst of the Great Depression. As Joe Louis inches closer to becoming the American heavyweight boxing champion, his victories spark hope in a nation starved for good news. Against this backdrop, Pinkney introduces three narrators whose lives are about to intersect. Hibernia chafes at her father's overprotectiveness: since her mother left them with dreams of singing at the Savoy, the reverend limits Hibernia's singing to the church choir. Otis misses his parents terribly: the three of them never had much, but they had laughter, which came to an end in a fiery car crash. Willie tries to ignore his alcoholic father until the night that the abusive man disfigures Willie's hands and his mother convinces him to flee for safety. The two boys meet at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans and slowly learn to trust one another. When Hibernia's youth choir performs a Christmas concert there, Otis is smitten. With the help of a caring orphanage worker, the three youngsters are able to navigate the complex waters of adolescence, learning that using one's wits can be more powerful than beating against the walls of a box. Pinkney weaves quite a bit of 1930s history into her story and succeeds admirably in showing how Louis came to represent so much more than his sport. Her detailed notes make this an accessible and inspiring piece of historical fiction that belongs in most collections.&12; Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
It's the era of Joe Louis at Yankee Stadium, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington at the Savoy and Philco radios in living rooms across the country, hope and dreams afloat on the airwaves. Told in the alternating voices of 12-year-olds Hibernia, Otis and Willie, and covering the period between Louis' 1936 loss to Max Schmeling and his 1937 title fight with James Braddock, the artfully orchestrated novel is related with grace, restraint and a wealth of historical detail. This last is carefully woven into the fabric of the story and rarely calls attention to itself. Even before they meet later in the story, the young trio is linked by their radios, bringing them Gang Busters, The Lone Ranger, Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny, the Chick Webb Orchestra from the Savoy Ballroom and, most importantly, Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, whom they understand is "fighting for the pride of Negroes." The three protagonists come together in the final scene, in which Louis fights Braddock for the heavyweight championship of the world. Perfect pacing and italicized radio commentary drawn from Pinkney's research provide a tense and rousing closing, in which the dreams that Louis represented do come true, and three new friends find that "faith is here like a long-gone friend." (Historical fiction. 9-14)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (Fri Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2011)
Horn Book (Mon Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2011)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Tue Mar 01 00:00:00 CST 2011)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 273-274).
Word Count: 40,861
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 6.0 / quiz: 143646 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q53694
Lexile: 670L
Guided Reading Level: V
Fountas & Pinnell: V
In a small upstate New York town during the Great Depression, three children--Hibernia, Willie, and Otis--are about to meet.

Hibernia dreams of becoming a famous singer and performing at Harlem's swanky Savoy Ballroom.
Willie is recovering from a tragedy that prevents him from becoming a junior boxing champ.
Otis spends every night glued to the radio, listening to the voices that remind him of Daddy and Ma.

Each of them is looking for hope, and they all find it in the thrilling boxing matches of young Joe Louis. They know Joe has a good chance of becoming the country's next heavyweight champion. What they don't know is that during this unforgettable year, the three of them will become friends.

*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed.
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.