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Good Reads  Ornithology  Birds: General

Saving Jemima Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay

Biography / Memoir
By: Julie Zickefoose(Author)
192 pages, colour illustrations
Saving Jemima
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  • Saving Jemima ISBN: 9781328518958 Hardback Sep 2019 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £18.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

For fans of Wesley the Owl and The Soul of an Octopus, the story of a sick baby bird nursed back to health and into the wild by renowned writer/artist Julie Zickefoose.

When Jemima, a young orphaned blue jay, is brought to wildlife rehabilitator Julie Zickefoose, she is a virtually tailless, palm-sized bundle of grey-blue fluff. But she is starved and very sick. Julie's constant care brings her around, and as Jemima is raised for eventual release, she takes over the house and the rest of the author's summer.

Shortly after release, Jemima turns up with a deadly disease. But medicating a free-flying wild bird is a challenge. When the PBS show Nature expresses interest in filming Jemima, Julie must train her to behave on camera, as the bird gets ever wilder. Jemima bonds with a wild jay, stretching her ties with the family. Throughout, Julie grapples with the fallout of Jemima's illness, studies moult and migration, and does her best to keep Jemima strong and wild. She falls hard for this engaging, feisty and funny bird, a creative muse and source of strength through the author's own heartbreaking changes.

Emotional and honest, Saving Jemima is a universal story of the communion between a wild creature and the human chosen to raise it.

Customer Reviews


Julie Zickefoose, writer/artist and author of Letters from Eden, The Bluebird Effect, and Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest, is fascinated by the interface of birds and people. Documenting the life of Jemima, an orphaned blue jay, was an all-consuming pursuit that has led to a deepened appreciation for blue jays and all their corvine relatives. Zickefoose continues her observations of jays on her 80-acre sanctuary in Appalachian Ohio.

Biography / Memoir
By: Julie Zickefoose(Author)
192 pages, colour illustrations
Media reviews

"[...] Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay is a great story, it’s informative, dramatic, and emotionally powerful. Upon reading it, I don’t see how you could help but to, as the author hopes, see jays “in a deeper, more appreciative and more inquisitive way than you might have before.”
– Grant McCreary (22-02-2020), read the full review at The Birder's Library

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