Moonbird by Phillip Hoose
A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards))

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.

He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moon—and halfway back! 

B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego, headed for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away.  Late in the summer, he begins the return journey.

B95 can fly for days without eating or sleeping, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at ancient refueling stations along his migratory circuit—changes caused mostly by human activity—have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. And so, since 1995, when B95 was first captured and banded, the worldwide rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Most perish somewhere along the great hemispheric circuit, but the Moonbird wings on. He has been seen as recently as November 2011, which makes him nearly twenty years old. Shaking their heads, scientists ask themselves: How can this one bird make it year after year when so many others fall? 

National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose takes us around the hemisphere with the world’s most celebrated shorebird, showing the obstacles rufa red knots face, introducing a worldwide team of scientists and conservationists trying to save them, and offering insights about what we can do to help shorebirds before it’s too late. With inspiring prose, thorough research, and stirring images, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through the triumph of a single bird.  Moonbird is one The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.


About Phillip Hoose

See more books from this Author
Phillip Hoose is the widely-acclaimed author of the National Book Award winner Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, which is also a Newbery Honor Book, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, a YALSA Finalist for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among other honors. His other books include The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and We Were There, Too!, a National Book Award Finalist. Mr. Hoose lives in Portland, Maine.
Published March 25, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 160 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Moonbird

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

As he did in The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (2004), Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through a single bird species, but there is hope for survival in this story, and that hope is pinned on understanding the remarkable longevity of a single bird.

May 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

National Book Award–winner Hoose (Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice) introduces readers to the small rufa red knot shorebird known as B95, which makes an 18,000-mile migratory circuit from the bottom of the world to the top and back again each year.

May 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind ...

A Patchwork of Books

It was the perfect book to review in February because February is a month when many people think about and give thanks for the people they love.

Jan 28 2013 | Read Full Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind ...

Project MUSE

Hoose reviews the known data about the rufa red knots' flight paths and stopovers and combines it with information about B95 sightings to imagine how the diminutive creature weathers the brutal flight year after year after year.

| Read Full Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind ...

The Horn Book

He’s called “Moonbird” because, over a lifespan of twenty years, he’s flown some 325,000 miles, the distance to the moon and almost halfway back.

Aug 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind ...

Gr 6 Up—Phillip Hoose describes a year in the life of a rufa red knot (shorebird)—how they fatten themselves during the Argentinean winters, fly to the Canadian arctic to breed, and mate and raise their young in the far north before making the long trip back to Tierra del Fuego in the fall. He of...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Moonbird: A Year on the Wind ...

Reader Rating for Moonbird

An aggregated and normalized score based on 39 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review