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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

One of this year’s finalists for YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults is Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95, written by Phillip Hoose.


Image created using Comic Book! by 3DTOPO Inc. Photo credits clockwise from top left: American Bird Conservatory; New York Times Green Blog;;  Moonbird cover; Encyclopedia of Life (;.

The introduction to Moonbird begins as follows:

B95 can feel it: A stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and back into the wind, working his newly molted flight feathers for real.

With lovely prose, intense scientific interest, and a sense of playfulness, Hoose relates the discovery of the incredible B95, a rufa red knot who has made his migration circuit of 18,000 miles (give or take) for nearly two decades. The suspense builds as researchers and well-wishers watch each year to see if B95, or the Moonbird, as he comes to be called, will return once again to either end of his journey. Readers will grow to care, not only about Moonbird, but about all the migratory birds that wend their way across thousands of miles.

— Diane Colson, currently reading Splendors and Glooms and listening to Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

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Diane Colson

I have been a librarian working with youth since 1998, beginning at the Alachua County Library District, and later at Palm Harbor Library and Nashville Public Library. Possibly because of the edgy nature of teen literature, or possibly because my maturation process crashed at the age of fifteen years-old, I love YA books. And I enjoy working with YAs as well, although I'm just as happy doing Toddler Time. By some good fortune, I have served on a number of YALSA selection committees (Outstanding Books for the College Bound, Popular Paperbacks, Alex Award, Odyssey Award, Nonfiction Award, Morris Award, and Printz) as well as a smattering of process committees. Currently I am serving on the YALSA Board. .I also review books for VOYA, School Library Journal's Adult4Teen Blog, BookPage, and Booklist.

One Comment

  1. Basically, I wanted to say that I LOVE the illustration that goes along with this review! It makes me happy. Well done!

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