Extended Audio Sample

Download Catherine, Called Birdy Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Catherine, Called Birdy (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Karen Cushman
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (19,689 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karen Cushman Narrator: Jenny Sterlin Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN:
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In 1290, her 14th year, Catherine begins a diary that quickly fills with the irrepressible joys and frustrations of her days. Always looking for ways to avoid drudging hours of embroidery, Birdy fills her time with pranks, celebrations of feast days, and local gossip. Wriggling out of her father's plans to find a prosperous husband for her proves to be Birdy's greatest challenge.

As each prospective suitor appears, Birdy blacks her teeth, drools, and does her best to scare him off. These mischievous tricks work until Shaggy Beard, the richest one of all, arrives with his fat purse of silver. Karen Cushman does careful research for each of her books, so Birdy's lively journal is sprinkled with the vivid, personal details of life in medieval England. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Clark | 2/16/2014

    " I liked "Catherine" quite a bit, with only one qualifier: the trouble with books that set out to portray what life was really like for a regular person in any given situation is that they sometimes drag a bit through what life was really like for a regular person in that given situation, and you can find yourself longing, at least a bit, for something extraordinary in the situation, or in the character's response to whatever their situation is. That being said, this is still an enjoyable tale of life in medieval Britain, told from the perspective of a girl in her fourteenth year. While no Katniss or Bella, she is appealling nonetheless in her spunky rebellion against the cloying tedium that marks her life. It's hard to imagine not coming away with a fondness for her, an appreciation for many of the people around her, and certainly, a better understanding of what life was like in this part of the world seven or eight hundred years ago. A fine piece of historical fiction in an era that usually isn't found in books without fantastical elements muddying the picture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melani | 2/14/2014

    " I read this book a long time ago and really liked it. I read it again over the last few days. I like the book but it is a little pessimistic because the main character is not very happy, but it all works out for the best. I was really surprised by all the holidays they had in medievel Britain. Plus, how everyday is a saints day. It was insightful into the period the book is set. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan Lengel | 2/9/2014

    " Medieval diary writer refuses to do what her parents want. You go, girl! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karli | 1/30/2014

    " I think that Catherine, called Birdy was very long and boring. I did not find the majority of the book attention grabbing or even very interesting. I did not enjoy this book very much. I think the plot line is awesome, it is a great historical fiction topic but I found that this book could have definitely been better. It was difficult for me to finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glorious.Clio | 1/27/2014

    " I loved Catherine, I identified with her so much! She hates the circumstances under which she lives and is constantly trying to escape. But then she discovers self reliance and strength within herself. It's a wonderful tale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K. Piet | 12/24/2013

    " I snagged this book from my older sister when I was young, and I still remember it very fondly. It was one of the first times I think I was exposed to a strong, witty female protagonist. One of these days, I'll have to re-read this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom | 12/21/2013

    " I enjoyed the humor in the book and thought it was cleverly written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brigham Prince | 12/10/2013

    " This book really helped me understand the Middle Ages, I thought that they were so serious all of the time, obviously not!!!! Catherine really does have a sense of humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 12/6/2013

    " Cushman's writing is charming, she really brings history alive. I listened to this one on tape a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammyribbey ribbey | 11/16/2013

    " Book was pretty good. But the midwifes apprentice was much better "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Calista | 10/12/2013

    " I read this book so many times when I was younger. Catherine was my role model growing up. I would recommend this book to anyone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 AlixJamie | 8/9/2013

    " Didn't like it. Crude and stupid. Catherine is a selfish spoiled girl who deserves no respect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 4/14/2013

    " One of my favorite books from my childhood. Catherine is hilarious, and I still love this book today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 1/3/2013

    " This little book was just my cup of tea. It's nice to feel like I'm learning a little bit as I'm being thoroughly entertained. Sure, it stretches credibility for the time period (1290), but Cushman made it work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellie | 11/29/2012

    " A feminist young adult book about a young woman who wanted to be married for love rather than as a pawn for increasing her father's wealth. A quick read with a few giggles. I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 11/26/2012

    " I loved this book in my adolescent years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 WideEyedPanda | 6/11/2012

    " I know I read this...but I should probably give it a reread since I can't remember anything. hahahaha "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renae | 2/19/2012

    " Charming and funny, Cushman's tale of a medieval girl's efforts to avoid an arranged marriage was a quick diversion for a Sunday afternoon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 1/30/2012

    " Read this book in the 7th grade, later dressed up as her for an assignment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willow | 1/14/2012

    " Oh my goodness, this book rocks! Heavy on the female power but in a non-obnoxious way. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bean | 12/13/2011

    " Corpus Bones I love this book. Sassy and amazing. I've probably read it 15 times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 5/20/2011

    " Great book really loved it. Cushman managaed to make Catherine seemed historically real while making her feisty and teenaged. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dina | 5/17/2011

    " A plucky female heroine comes of age in the middle ages. Told with humor and insight. Can't help but like Catherine. Although probably true to the period, I got a bit tired of her type of swearing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whitney | 5/16/2011

    " My all-time favorite book! I have read it no less than 30 times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Iskreads | 5/9/2011

    " Hana E.

    This book was really interesting. I like how Catherine was a stuck up girl to a nice and not stuck up girl anymore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 5/1/2011

    " Newberry Award Honor winner in 1995, this book is interesting historical fiction. A young woman named Cat keeps an interesting journal of the year before her upcoming arranged marriage. Interesting and well-written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Diana960 | 4/30/2011

    " I would just like to say this was an epic fail in literature. She could not have whined anymore. And my whole seventh grade humanities plus class agrees. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anaiz | 4/27/2011

    " Read this book in 5th grade and really enjoyed it. It was my first taste at historical fiction :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 4/27/2011

    " Interesting book on the middle ages and lifet therein. It wasn't called the Dark Ages for nothing! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 4/27/2011

    " It doesnt have the best story line and it isn't all that isteresting, but it is a fast and easy read. It isn't my favorite book, but it is not too bad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 4/25/2011

    " Loved the journal style in which Catherine's tale was told. Very fun story and I love that it's so full of what life was actually like back in 1290 a.d. Glad to live in the 21st century! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brooke | 4/25/2011

    " I had to read this for 7th grade lit. and it will never be in my possession again. It really deserves zero stars but oh well. I would not recommend this to hound readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 4/12/2011

    " Sad to see this story end! "

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About the Author
Author Karen CushmanKaren Cushman is the author of the Newbery Medal book The Midwife’s Apprentice, the Newbery Honor book Catherine, Called Birdy, and Matilda Bone, all set in medieval England and available on audio from Listening Library. Francine Green is the third Cushman protagonist whose story is set in the USA, joining Rodzina and Lucy Whipple.
About the Narrator

Jenny Sterlin, winner of multiple Earphones Awards, has more than seventy audio titles to her credit, including Laurie R. King’s popular Sherlock Holmes / Mary Russell series. Before beginning her narration career, she helped found England’s experimental Living Theatre.