Bird Brain

Coming March 12, 2024 from Orca Book Publishers.

Order: Your Canadian indie, Indigo, Barnes & or directly from Orca.

“On the surface, an enchanting read about a science-loving 7th grade girl and her impossibly intelligent parrot (and no, none of my parrots have achieved quite as much as the fictional Ludwig). But the book is much more, showing how the protagonist deals with mental bullying, cheating by other students, friendship, and being part of a family headed by a single-mother. Joanne Levy has succeeded again!”

Irene M. Pepperberg, PhD, President of The Alex Foundation and Adjunct Research Professor at Boston University.

Arden Sachs has always wanted a pet: a purring kitten or an adorable puppy, or even a fuzzy guinea pig. But living in a cramped condo with her mom and siblings means she’s unhappily pet-free. Then her Uncle Eli, a professor and scientist, asks Arden to look after Ludwig, his African Grey parrot, while he’s away on sabbatical in Guinea. A little afraid of the bird, Arden reluctantly agrees to prove that she can handle pet ownership.

But when Ludwig goes beyond his usual sounds and imitations to spout numbers and words that seem way too complex for a parrot, Arden wonders if there’s more to this bird than meets the eye. As they get to know each other, Arden realizes Ludwig is not only super smart, he’s also fiercely loyal, helping her with everything from her school presentation to her bully problems, and her pursuit of a spot on the Science Bowl team. Ludwig may not be the pet Arden wanted, but he might turn out to be exactly the pet she needed.

This book was inspired by (and has been approved by) my own African Grey, Gabby.

Download the printable discussion and activity guide here.

Books for tweens and immature adults.