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Each Little Bird That Sings    by Deborah Wiles order for
Each Little Bird That Sings
by Deborah Wiles
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger of Snapfinger, Mississippi, understands death. Her daddy is a funeral director and his business is in their home. Comfort attends each funeral and writes Life Notices about the deceased's life. She hopes one day to convince the newspaper editor to print the life notices instead of the boring obituaries he now uses.

The recent deaths of two family members are hard for Comfort. Comfort's family and her dog Dismay are always there for her, but her best friend Declaration drops her just when Comfort needs her the most. Comfort forgives her and gives her chance after chance until the day of Aunt Florence's funeral. Declaration's actions just before a flash flood almost get Comfort and her babyish young cousin Peaches killed. Comfort might have even been able to forgive Declaration that, but Dismay is swept down the creek and lost.

Comfort's family members are not just cookie-cutter supporting characters. Little sister Merry sings or hums to the tune of Jingle Bells and big brother Tidings is always on military alert. Peaches, Comfort's fearful and emotionally stressed-out, little cousin, almost steals the story.

Comfort's encouraging views on life ring true, even when a moral or two is thrown in by the writer. Comfort understands death, but loves life. Wiles' novel is humorous and touching.

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