Curriculum Guide

About the Book

Jewel has been haunted her entire life by John, the brother who died the day she was born. Nicknamed “Bird,” he tried to fly off a nearby cliff and fell to his death. Grandpa has not spoken a word since that day, and Jewel is secretly drawn to the cliff when no one else is around. There, she works out her own way of dealing with the grief. The appearance of a new boy in the neighborhood named John sets in motion a cascading flood of emotion in the family that brings their buried feelings to the surface and nearly tears the family apart. But John has deep secrets of his own that may help Jewel’s family come together in new ways.

Prereading Activity

The following question particularly addresses the Common Core State Standards:
(ELA.4-7.4, 9)

Research the origin and meaning of the word “duppy.” Determine the meaning of this word and concept in the folklore and culture of the Caribbean islands and, particularly, Jamaica.

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