The Bird Within Me

Sara Lundberg, B.J. Epstein

The Bird Within Me
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The Bird Within Me

Sara Lundberg, B.J. Epstein

Berta is a young girl with an artistic soul growing up on a farm in the Swedish countryside at the beginning of the 20th century. Her father doesn’t understand her and her mother is dying. But Berta longs to be an artist and can’t stay on the farm forever.

 Based on the life of Swedish artist Berta Hansson, this is the story of a young woman with the bravery to live her own truth and follow her own path, despite the protests of her father and society at the time.

A universal story of longing and imagination, the perfect refrain for a young rebel. 

Review

The Bird Within Me is a compact gem of a book that is based on the life of Swedish Artist Berta Hansson. Raised in a small farming community, she is expected to help, leaving little time for the art she loves. Whenever she can, Berta does paintings and little sculptures for her sick mother, in the hope they will make her better. The doctor, who is an art lover, thinks she should go to art school. But in an age when education isn’t considered a priority for girls, her father says no, she is needed on the farm.

This beautiful book is a sensitive rendition of Berta’s life, and shows how inspiringly brilliant books can be, particularly illustrated biographies for children. For ages 9+.


Alexa Dretzke is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Hawthorn.

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