I remember the exact day that my sixth grade teacher put this book in my hands. Mrs. Hall had carefully styled grey hair, gold wire rimmed glasses, and always wore lots of perfume. She could be stern, but she had a warm smile. I had finished my work and was staring idly into space, and she must have noticed it because she went to her book shelf and got Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. I couldn't put it down and quickly fell in love with Catherine, a fourteen year old girl who lived during the Medieval period.
Catherine is called Birdy by her family because she had a lot of pets and loved animals. Her brother teaches her to read and write, and he gives her a homework assignment - to keep a journal and write in it every day. Birdy is stubborn, strong, and set in her own opinions - something we value in our girls today, but in 1290, it wasn't seen as positively. Her father wants to marry her off, and the suitor he picks is someone that Birdy thinks is terrible! This book is a wonderful story with a strong female lead character. It's funny, sometimes shocking, and also serves as a very detailed and fascinating look into life during the Medieval time period.
Did you read this as a kid like I did? Did a teacher give you a book that you still hold dear? Let me know your experiences in the comments!