Wren hates her name. Hates that her family moved to a new house, new town, new state. Hates her new school. Hates to make friends. Do you see a pattern here? Even though she is in 6th grade when they move to the new school, Wren just can’t seem to make friends. Until one day she meets a girl named Meadow in a bathroom and they seem to click. Or do they really? Or is Wren just so happy to have someone, anyone who seems to be paying attention to her. After all, her parents are both too busy with work, her younger brother is always involved in some after school activity and her older sister, Anabella (whom she used to feel close with) is off making her own friends in 8th grade – leaving her little sister behind.
Never mind that Meadow introduces Wren to smoking weed, stealing and some interesting other people that are operating on the wrong side of the law. Even when things with Meadow start to fall apart, Wren can’t seem to pull herself together.
Then, one morning in the middle of 9th grade, Wren gets a rude awakening. She is taken from her home, driven to the airport and put on a plane with a bodyguard. Then she is dropped in the middle of nowhere (after being blindfolded) to be in what feels like an outdoor prison! Wren can’t believe it when she learns her parents have sent her to this horrible place.
Wild Bird by Wendelin VAn Draanen looks at what happens when you hit rock bottom and you don’t like the person you see there. Wren is forced to finally take a moment to just breathe and realize that there are some things that are within her own control.
Recommended for grades 8 and up.