I haven’t done a “book review” since it was mandatory in high school and I never did good on them, but here is my review of one of the books I’ve read recently. DISCLAIMER: Spoilers. This is a fan review and in no way sponsored, hence why it may be terrible. Read at your own risk.
This book is one of those that I wish I had read when I was younger. It has eloquent details, accurate facts about owls, a grand vocabulary, but is still a plot children can understand – children were taken from their homes and wanted to do something to stop others from being taken, too.
There are a number of things in the book that the movie just wasn’t able to go into without being a documentary. (I wish they would, though; it would be amazing.) I’ve only read the first two books and already there are more details than I can count! Soren was only three weeks old when his jealous brother shoved him from the hollow; they did not go to St. Aggie’s together. Kludd tells Mrs. Plithiver (best snake name ever, by the way) that he’ll kill her if she tells his parents, so she runs away to the unknown fate of Eglantine. The “amusing” owl abductors in the movie? They tore Digger’s brother apart and ate him. Hortense and her great deeds in the hatchery were completely left out. Grimble had a family that he was allowed to visit, but St. Aggie’s changed him so much they literally couldn’t recognize him or he they. At the end, the four owls – Soren, Gylfie, Digger, and Twilight – are flying for the Great Ga’Hoole tree, home of the Guardians, to find a way to stop St. Aggie’s.
I really like that this story is SO FULL of facts about owls. Like how Soren’s ears are not at the same height on his head, which gives owls the ability to “hear” a three-dimensional map of where noises are coming from. Because of the diverse owl species involved, you don’t just learn about one kind of owl, but all of them. A great read, but you will most likely be called upon to sound out some of the words for your reading youngster. Be prepared.
Like the first book, this story is filled with more bird knowledge. The band reaches Ga’Hoole (after a slight detour) where they share their story and then are happily dispersed throughout the tree to learn the things that Guardians learn: weather flying, navigation, care of the Ga’Hoole tree, colliering, etc. This book is mostly their training around the tree and daily life – until the very end where all the owls are called out because of a great number of downed owlets found in the forest. I feel like this book was filler material, but filler material that will be referred back to in the later books (ie, their different training skills, life in the Ga’Hoole tree, the multitude of characters, etc.) It’s not even 200 pages; I’m willing to make that sacrifice for the story. I’m taking it like the beginning of the fifth Harry Potter book when everything was mundane until you realize later that they were holding a horcrux and let it go.