The Bower Bird, Ann Kelley
Ann Kelley

The Bower Bird

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Winner of the 2007 Costa awardThis title continues the story of Gussie, a precocious young girl diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Despite her health problems, she is determined to live life to the fullest, experiencing typical adolescent woes such as love and strained relations with her parents. Never complaining, she offers a direct and honest insight about herself and the world around her, bringing this poignant, charming and oddly optimistic tale to life.REVIEWS 'Brilliant' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY'I'm pleased to be able to announce that Gussie has lived to see another day with Kelley capturing so beautifully Gussie's optimism and hope.' SUE BAKER'S PERSONAL CHOICE, PUBLISHING NEWS'The world of life and death, beauty and truth seen through the eyes of a 12 year old girl. A rare and beautiful book of lasting quality – we felt this is a voice that needs to be heard and read.' COSTA AWARD JUDGES'It's a lovely book – lyrical, funny, full of wisdom. Gussie is such a dear – such a delight and a wonderful character, bright and sharp and strong, never to be pitied for an instant.' HELEN DUNMORE, author of 'Ingo' BACK COVERGussie is twelve years old, loves animals and wants to be a photographer when she grows up. The only problem is that she's unlikely to ever grown up.'I had open heart surgery last year, when I was eleven, and the healing process hasn't finished yet. I now have an amazing scar that cuts me in half almost, as if I have survived a shark attack'.Gussie needs a heart and lung transplant, but the donor list is as long as her arm and she can't wait around that long. Gussie has things to do; finding her ancestors, coping with her parents' divorce and keeping an eye out for the wildlife in her garden.
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218 printed pages
Original publication


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