Broken Bird

by Michael Broad

(Puffin Books London 2006)

peace with ourselves-peace with each other

recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library


Broken Bird was born different to the other birds and they teased and taunted him. But Broken Bird was undeterred and remained determined to find his place. He could not fly so he decided to spend some time with the creatures with no wings. Bravely he decided to go to the city because he thought he might belong there. This tantalising story will leave a happy smile on any reader's face and is a story for all ages to enjoy and share together and it contains many peace-building elements:

  • happy endings

  • everyone winning

  • nonviolent resolution

  • imaginative and creative

  • challenges existing stereotyping

  • faith and hope

  •     peace with the environment

  • finding personal peace

  • element that supports the idea that peace is possible

Broken Bird met someone else who was also different and who had been subject to hurtful teasing by the other birds. He decided to return to the woods with his new companion and together they learned how to fly.

Throughout the story Broken Bird remained positive and he never sought revenge. He remained focussed upon his pursuit for happiness and finding his rightful place in the world. In the end his efforts were rewarded. He realised that he and his special friend were neither broken nor scary.

Critical questions to explore with children 

  • What was different about Broken Bird?
  • Did he mind being teased and taunted by the other birds? 
  • Why did he choose to spend time with creatures who could not fly?
  • Why did he decide to go to the city?
  • What was Scary Bird doing when Broken Bird first met her?
  • Why do you think they became good friends?
  • Does the story have a happy win-win ending for everyone in the story?

Creative questions to explore with children

  • Why do you think Broken Bird's wing was broken?
  • Do all birds need to fly? Can birds in the wild survive with a broken wing?
  • Do you think Broken Bird was positive? Did anything seem to worry him?
  • Why do you think Scary Bird and Broken Bird were teased by the other birds?
  • Do you think Scary Bird and Broken Bird would be happy for the rest of their lives?
  • How else could the story have ended with win-win happening for everyone?

Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation January 2007

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