The Aviary is a charming middle grade story that takes a bit of magic, a bit of friendship and a bit of luck to tell a heartwarming story of siblings, justice and release. It is a historical novel and the first thing that will hit you when you begin the novel, or at least, the first thing that I noticed was how protective the mother seems of her daughter, the main character of the novel. Her protectiveness makes some sense when we find out that the daughter has a weak heart but still, not allowing the girl a single friend? Nor letting her step outside the front gate? What? That just seemed wrong to me. And then we find out that she doesn’t even have a weak heart, it was something the mother and the old lady cooked up to keep the girl safe? That seemed REALLY FANTASTICALLY wrong.I couldn’t help but focus on that admittedly not so important part of the novel. Okay no, it is important. Even when she finds out that she’s in fact, totally okay, the girl is only allowed one friend. Why? This is bad parenting, you guys! I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that it wasn’t discussed in more detail and this derailed me from the entire story which is about the birds, in case you didn’t realize.The novel was actually okay. Just okay because I couldn’t get over the not sick but I’m gonna treat you like a prisoner portion. I actually don’t have much to say about it. I just wanted to rant about well, you know what I wanted to rant about. Well, no, the one friend that Clara had was actually quite cute. The birds themselves were pretty interesting and the denouement of the novel, while cheesy in the extreme, was heartwarming to an extent. It’s not the best middle grade novel out there but it certainly has its good qualities.