Katey and Her Possessed Budgie by Brian Curtin

BUDGIE
Katey and Her Possessed Budgie by Brian Curtin
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (116 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The mind can be a powerful tool if you have the willpower to use it.

Katey learns of a massive corruption attempt. Spirits approach her to cooperate with them in an attempt to end it. Will the new powers she is given be of any use—and will she have the willpower to use them?

Katey used to be an ordinary girl before her pet budgie, Charlie, started talking to her and friendly spirits gave her special powers to help them defeat a terrible evil. Will she adjust to her new life in time to make a difference in the outcome of the war?

Katey is an extremely well developed character. Her impatience and tendency to judge others before knowing all of the facts trips her up repeatedly, but her perseverance and inquisitiveness soften the edges of her faults. Her cringe-worthy mistakes only serve to make her feel like a real person, though, and I can honestly say that she is the most memorable young adult protagonist I’ve met so far in 2013.

There were a few plot holes that distracted me from an otherwise engrossing storyline. When Katey discovers an uncomfortable truth about the spirit world I was left wondering how it would affect the climax of this novel. If taken to its logical conclusions this revelation should have prompted Katey to reevaluate some of the other things she was told about the conflict she had been drawn into.

By far the funniest scenes involve Katey’s conversations with Charlie. Imagining a tiny bird waxing on about all of the topics Charlie cares about brought a smile to my lips more than once. The best scenes in Katey and Her Possessed Budgie involve how people react to Charlie’s new found linguistic ability and what they say and do once they realize that it isn’t a parlor trick.

This book does include language that some families might find objectionable. The profanity is limited to a handful of occasions, though, and is in very much in character for the individual who uses it. With the exception of these words this tale is obviously written for the 10+ age group based on its dialogue, plot structure, and the types of things that the characters find humorous. I otherwise have no qualms about recommending it to readers in this age bracket.

Katey and Her Possessed Budgie is a great choice for middle grade readers who love the fantasy genre and are ready to tackle slightly more mature story lines.

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