1994 Newbery Honor winner, Catherine, Called Birdy is historical fiction for middle-schoolers set in the Middle Ages. In the year 1290, 13 year-old Birdy is “unwillingly keeping a journal at the behest of her brother, a monk, Birdy (daughter of a 13th-century knight) makes a terse first entry—”I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say”—but is soon confiding her pranks and troubles in fascinating detail.” This first novel from almost 30 years ago is now a movie to be released later this month written and directed by Lena Dunham. Cushman went on to become a mainstay in middle school literature. Authentically writing about various historical periods, Catherine, Called Birdy contains just the right amount of humor and icki-ness that appeals to this age group. Not just for social studies teachers, the diary of Catherine has readers rooting for her from page one until the end. I look forward to meeting her on the big screen.