Connecting everyone to the world of story

Image Alt

Story Links

  /  Reviews   /  Middle Grade Readers   /  Tweet


By Morris Gleitzman

Reviewed by Helen Gearing

Morris Gleitzman, Australian Children’s Laureate for 2018-2019, has sold four million copies of his novels in Australia alone, as well as being published in more than 20 other countries. Gleitzman has a well-deserved reputation for tackling difficult subjects with sensitivity, humour, and heart (most famously in his beloved WWII series ‘Once’) and his new standalone middle-grade novel continues this tradition.
In Tweet, Gleitzman explores humans’ fraught relationship with nature, interspecies communication, and the wonder of flight through the adventures of eleven-year-old Jay and his beloved budgie Clyde.
When Jay’s parents, the world’s foremost experts on bird behaviour, disappear during a research trip in remote Central East Africa, Jay and his Poppa try to remain optimistic that they will soon be found. But when Poppa is no longer able to care for him and Jay is separated from Clyde by social services, Jay runs away to find his missing family himself.
The story shifts from Jay’s perspective to Clyde’s in alternating chapters, where Clyde is just as desperate as Jay to find his human family. Clyde, however, must tackle his own insecurities (feeling he is half-human and half-bird and together a lopsided whole) and prejudices (especially towards wild birds) if he is to protect those he loves.
Complicating Jay and Clyde’s quest is the recent, bizarre behaviour of birds all over the world. The duo will need to solve this mystery too, because what is at stake affects all life on earth – and the consequences will forever change history.
Clyde’s perspective is humorous and touching and his determination to face a dizzying array of dangers – from predators through to garbage incinerators — in his quest to care for Jay provides a lovely counterpoint to the more common child-rescuing-animal storyline. (Another excellent example of this subverted trope can be found in Neridah McMullin’s exquisite Evie and Rhino).
Tweet is an extraordinary, cinematic novel which will deeply satisfy readers eight years and older who are interested in bird behaviour, climate change, ecology, and pushing the boundaries of how we communicate.
Penguin 2024
Morris Gleitzman
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

Error: Contact form not found.

Free shipping
for orders over 50%