Birdy Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Birdy

“Birdy” is a story of childhood friendship, war, obsession and mental illness.   The novel takes place in a suburb of Philadelphia shortly prior to World War II. It is narrated by Al, an all-American Italian boy turned man, who has been best friends with the protagonist, Birdy, since early childhood. Birdy is a genius obsessed with the flight and breeding patterns of canaries. He possesses an uncanny mechanical aptitude, and he directs his intelligence towards realizing his dream of flying. In “Birdy,” Al describes the increasing pull of this obsession on Birdy throughout puberty into adulthood.
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Eventually, both boys enlist in the army. They experience a great amount of stress and tragedy spurred by the war. Perhaps it was this pressure that drives Birdy to a permanent state of mental illness. Birdy actually becomes birdlike, refusing to act as a human. Al is called into reason with his childhood friend; he is expected to bring Birdy back to his normal state of mind. Is Birdy mentally ill or is this an elaborate act designed to excuse him from further duty? Will Al be successful in his attempts to reason with Birdy?
The review of this Book prepared by Anna Ellermeyer

Chapter Analysis of Birdy

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Animal story    -   Yes Kind of animal:    -   bird Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians    -   Yes Brain/Body disability?    -   mental illness

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Genius    -   Mentally ill    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Birdy

William Wharton Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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