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Groundwood Books

The Bird in Me Flies

Written by Sara Lundberg • Translated by B.J. Epstein

For students in grades 4 - 7 | Published May 01, 2020 | ISBN 9781773062600
JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women

Cover of The Bird in Me Flies

Regular price $18.95 CAD

120 pages | 8.25 in × 6.75 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Bird in Me Flies

Sara Lundberg • B.J. Epstein

What do you do when it feels impossible to live up to everything expected of you? When the only person who understands you disappears? When you are young and long for something that seems out of reach?

Berta dreams of being an artist, but as a girl growing up in a small Swedish farming village in the 1920s, she has little hope. She finds solace in nature, and in drawing and shaping birds from clay for her mother, the only person who seems to truly understand her. When her mother succumbs to tuberculosis, Berta feels alone, in despair and even more burdened by all the work on the farm. Can she find the courage to defy her father and the social conventions of her time, and fly free?

This beautifully illustrated novel in verse, inspired by the paintings, letters and diaries of Swedish artist Berta Hansson (1910-1994), is a universal story of grief, longing and following your dreams.

Includes an afterword by journalist Alexandra Sundqvist.

About the Creators

Sara Lundberg

Sara Lundberg studied at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. She was a painter before she began to focus on picture books. She won the August Prize, Sweden’s highest literary honor, for the original edition of this book, among other awards. In addition to authoring several titles, she has illustrated more than thirty children’s books, including Skriv om och om igen, another August Prize winner. Sara lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

B.J. Epstein

B.J. Epstein is a writer, editor and translator. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. A native of Chicago, she now makes her home in Norwich, UK.

Awards and Praise

Praise from Sweden:

“A beautiful, vital children’s book about art and life, which inspires its readers to dare to follow their own bird wherever they want.”— August Prize Jury

The Bird in Me Flies is a perfect refrain for a young rebel. (...) The greater story is about following one’s heart.”— Gunilla Brodej, Expressen

“… a piece of (women’s) history for the youngest, but executed in a fashion of high artistic originality — never preachy or stilted. The illustrations are incredibly beautiful … The language is poetic and lovely, and full of implicit sorrow and longing … This is children’s literature at its finest.”— Ida Therén, writer and cultural critic, ETC

“This book shouldn’t be missed, by neither children nor adults …” Västerbottens-Kuriren

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