The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

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Reason for Reading:
  • I’ve been hearing great things about this one – and the cover is fantastic!

I also recommend:

Summary from GoodReads:

Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never known another home. In fact, she’s confined to the grand estate due to a mysterious heart condition. But it’s a comfortable life, and if it weren’t for the creepy squawking birds in the aviary out back, a completely peaceful one too.

But once old Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara comes to learn many dark secrets about the family. The Glendoveers suffered a horrific tragedy: their children were kidnapped, then drowned. And their father George Glendoveer, a famous magician and illusionist, stood accused until his death. As Clara digs deeper and deeper into the terrifying events, the five birds in the aviary seem to be trying to tell her something. And Clara comes to wonder: what is their true identity? Clara sets out to solve a decades-old murder mystery—and in doing so, unlocks a secret in her own life, too. Kathleen O’Dell deftly weaves magic, secret identities, evil villians, unlikely heroes, and the wonder of friendship into a mystery adventure with all the charm of an old fashioned classic.

My Review:

This is what I love about literature.  That I can pick up a book like The Aviary and enjoy the story, smile and put it down.  Then, I can pick up a book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and see very, very interesting parallels between The Aviary and a story about seven ravens.  And all of the sudden, The Aviary takes on entirely different overtones.

So this story is, unfortunately, predictable – but in spite of that, it’s fun.  It’s a fantastic story for middle-graders, and even though I guessed everything that was happening just before it was revealed, I still enjoyed the revelation when it happened.  There’s elements of The Secret Garden, the Grimm’s Fairy Tale mentioned about, and some other bits and pieces of childhood favorites, and everything meshes together to create a thoroughly enchanting world – I mean, what little girl or boy wouldn’t love the thought of a secret child locked away in an old mansion? (Although, now that I think about it – the story was on par with the Grimm’s Tales in a way!)

This is one I recommend if you are looking for a fairy-tale-like story with a bit of a darker tone to it.

Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what these bloggers say!

Chicks Dig Books


  1. I LOVE The Secret Garden! The cover very much reminds me of it! I’m adding this to my TBR list. ^_^ Wow, I haven’t visited in a long time! I love your new look, and the header. I’ve always wondered what happened to the Entwives, haha ^_^

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