Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Published December 14, 2021
About Birdie’s Billions
For as long as eleven-year-old Birdie can remember, it’s always been just her and her mom, which means there’s not a lot of extra money to spend on things like new clothes and batons from the fancy gymnastics store. Still, they always find a way to make ends meet. Then Birdie makes one silly mistake that has a big consequence: Mom loses her job. Now things are more dire than ever, and Birdie knows it’s up to her to fix it.
When Birdie discovers a huge stash of cash in an abandoned house, she just knows it must be the answer to their problems. But the people who left that money behind aren’t willing to give it up so easily. Does “finders, keepers” count when it’s half a million dollars?
In this heartfelt small-town story from beloved author Edith Cohn, Birdie learns how to balance what’s right for her family-and herself-with what’s the right thing to do.
A savvy young girl finds half a million dollars and wonders if she can keep it in this charming middle grade mystery that asks big questions about right, wrong, and what you’d do for family.
Oh. My. Goodness. This book. First of all, I adore that the story explores ideas about integrity versus lying with good intentions. I thought it was really cool the way Birdie wrestles with what to do with the money she finds and what lies are justified so that she can use it to help others.
I also thought it was awesome that she’s a skater. It’s another hobby that I feel like is still underrepresented in books, though it’s possible that I just don’t encounter the books that are out there? Either way, there aren’t enough skateboarding characters in my life.
True to a lot of middle grade books, Birdie not only wrestles with family relationships, she also faces challenges in her friendships. I like that this book explored differences that can come from class but that those differences weren’t the whole story about what went wrong with Birdie and her bestie. I liked that there was more to the story there.
I also enjoyed the goofy characters and sweet moments of connection as well as Jackpot, the amazing cat.
On the whole, this is a great book for readers who enjoy stories about strong girls facing relationship challenges or complicated moral choices. I think readers who enjoyed CHIRP by Kate Messner or THE KATE IN BETWEEN by Claire Swinarski will enjoy this book.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Major characters are white. Birdie’s dad is in prison and her family is poor.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
None in the text. Birdie calls her friend’s mom a curse word (which isn’t spelled out) after she blames Birdie for something unfairly.
A couple of older boys bully Birdie and her friend while they’re skateboarding on the street. A girl gets injured when she’s walking in a part of a house she’s not supposed to be in and falls through the floor.
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