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  • Published: 30 April 2024
  • ISBN: 9781776958030
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

Brown Bird




Sometimes it can take one special friend to show you what you’re capable of, even if does take you a while to believe it.

Eleven-year-old Rebecca tries to make herself invisible so people won’t call her weird. Resigned to spending the holidays by herself in a new neighbourhood while her mum works long hours at the supermarket, she meets Chester, who has come to stay for the summer. He is loud and fun and full of ideas. But will Rebecca be able to cope with being taken so far from her quiet comfort zone?

Rebecca is about to find out that she can be braver than she ever thought possible . . .

A gentle, warm-hearted novel about leaving the comfort of your shell and making friends, for fans of Judy Blume, Jacqueline Wilson, Kate DiCamillo and Kate de Goldi.

  • Published: 30 April 2024
  • ISBN: 9781776958030
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Jane Arthur

Jane Arthur is a poet, children's writer and editor. She was born in New Plymouth, and lives in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, where she manages and co-owns (with bestselling novelist Catherine Robertson) a small independent bookshop.

Jane won the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by US poet Eileen Myles. In 2020, she was awarded an Emerging Writers Residency from the Michael King Writers Centre, and was a "40 Under 40" inspiring alumni of the University of Auckland.

A founding editor of children's literature website The Sapling, Jane has twice served as a judge for the New Zealand Children's Book Awards (in 2020 she was convenor of the judging panel), and as a judge for the poetry category for the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Her first poetry collection, Craven, was published in 2019 by Victoria University Press. It was selected as one of the Top 10 Best New Zealand Poetry Collections of 2019 by The Spinoff and won the 2020 Jessie Mackay Prize for Poetry (Best First Book Award).

​A second collection, Calamities!, was published in 2023 by Te Herenga Waka (formerly Victoria) University Press.

Brown Bird is her first novel for children.

Praise for Brown Bird

I really enjoyed this story of a tween in small town New Zealand, in day to day life. Having her quiet, calm, and perfectly wonderful boring plans tipped on their head is the catalyst for Rebecca to wrangle some of her anxiety, and feel brave enough to lift her gaze to her world.

Adele Broadbent, What Book Next?

Brown Bird is warm, wise and well-crafted. It’s written in a way that is accessible to a middle grade audience with lots of dialogue and humour – we loved Marama, Tilly’s dog who licks everyone and sleeps moon-shaped. It’s a pleasure to read as an adult and will offer children, particularly those who might tend towards anxiety, lots to identify with, and to enjoy.

Kirsteen Ure, Kete Books

Chester is like an explosion of fun. He’s chatty – he always has something to say. He and Rebecca are two very different people, but somehow they still manage to be friends. Rebecca thinks about things intensely. She often finds her brain racing at night. She thinks about all the things that have happened and the things that she might have said to people during the day and it makes it hard for her to sleep – that’s something I find myself doing sometimes too and I liked that I could relate to this book.

Libby Timmins (11 years), Kete Books

[A] perfect read for pre-teens...Brown Bird covers so many things young people go through and is firmly situated in a modern, hopeful and inclusive society that young readers will recognise...a brave book about brave people in the modern world

Louise Ward, Napier Courier