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Summary: Soren and his friends meet interesting characters and find themselves in precarious situations as they seek to find the legendary Island of Ga’Hoole on which the Great Ga’Hoole tree is supposed to reside. The tree is the stuff of legend, and Soren and his friends are quickly swept up in excitement, pressure, and fear when they find the tree and embark on careers at this “Hogwarts” for owls. This is the second in this middle reader fantasy adventure series.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 13; read yourself: 10 to 13
Interest Level: 8 and up
Age of Child: Read by an 11-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: The books just keep getting better and better. I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Adult Reader Reaction: Lasky is simply a superb storyteller. She does not need to review her previous installment, choosing instead to touch briefly on the characters, with only short references to the previous book. This really caught my attention because all too often, authors feel the need to repeat large chunks of information from previous books to tell the story. Lasky simply lets this story unfold and its stands on its own as a book that will quickly capture the imagination of a child.
Pros: Like Book One, this narrative pulls the reader into the unknown world of owls and never lets go. You are hooked from the first moment you start reading.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. If you can’t buy it, then borrow it from a public or school library. This is a must-read and would be a wonderful book to buy and pass down to siblings as they reach middle-level reading.
Educational Themes: If simply read for learning about owls, children will benefit from the significant research on their behaviors and characteristics. Still, there is plenty to explore on the themes of perseverence, family, courage, valor, self-esteem and trust.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, series book, fantasy, nature
Date(s) Reviewed: July 2005
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