This is a story that would be perfect for the child who is starting to read chapter books. The story is about three friends who decide to clean up a deserted plot of land in their neighborhood. They decide that it will become their hangout. They are looking for a new place to play after a local street gang took over the local park. As they begin cleaning, they discover a very large and strange looking bird. At first they are afraid of the bird, but they soon learn that the bird likes to eat gum balls so they enjoy the company of the bird in their hangout. By doing a little research, they discover that the bird is a Phoenix. They are amazed that a Phoenix is actually living in their neighborhood. How did it get there and why is it there? They cannot quite figure that out. Until one day the street gang finds their hangout and destroys it with graffiti and trash. The boys are upset and try to take back what was theirs, but can they really stand up to the older boys in the gang? The Phoenix comes to their rescue and what happens will surprise readers of all ages.
I enjoyed this story because it shares how we can each make our own neighborhoods better. I liked that the boys all helped one another and stood up for doing the right thing. The Phoenix burns and comes back to life and these boys make a place in their neighborhood come back to life too.
After reading this book go and look in your neighborhood for birds, or better yet, look around and clean up the litter in your neighborhood.
Happy Daily Reading