Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review: Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky

genre: children's/middle grade

A long while ago, when I first heard about the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, I thought I could never feel interested enough in owls to want to read an entire fiction book about them.

Then we saw the preview for the new movie coming out and I found the first book (of fifteen) at the thrift store. I decided to take a chance and read it out loud to my seven and a half year old son. I was astonished, first of all, by how into it HE was, but near the middle, by how much I was into it myself! Our main character is Soren, a barn owlet. His early nest life is peaceful and safe with his parents up in a tree, lulled to sleep with stories of the legendary Guardians of G'Hoole. Then one day, he finds himself on the ground. Without warning, he is snatched away and taken to a terrible place where where no questions are asked or answered - and an owls life is only as good as the work he will do. The choices Soren makes and the friends he meets there will eventually lead him to find within himself the strength to do whatever he dreams.

This book, surprisingly, captured my heart in the end. Soren is a tender character, loving and a good friend - but yet, with a steely determination and a sense of fairness. There are some pretty serious themes in this book - and not just a little violence. Soren's newly orphaned state is harsh and his world is one of brain-washing and battle claws and an owl who doesn't follow the rules can get his feathers torn out, or worse. But I loved how he navigated it all, how he never gave up hope.

I should mention that we didn't actually read ALL of it together. Some of it was by his bedside, nearly 45 minutes of it was in bliss on a shady bench in my neighborhood, but he DID wake up early yesterday (can you say 5am?) and finished it without me. THAT'S the hold it had over my boy and he is now well into the second book, already having spoiled major plot twists for me, bless his heart. I don't think I'll read any more of them, but I am certainly glad I got to know Soren and his gang so that as my boy reads along, I'll know where he's coming from. And now, the book is already in the hands of his 10 year old sister.

2 comments:

Inspired Kathy said...

I just saw a preveiw for the movie. I think I'll read the books first!
Kathy
I Am A Reader, Not a Writer

Cami said...

I had no idea it would be so fun--I think I will read it with Jeffy immediately. I bought it ages and ages ago, and it has been gathering dust whilst I search for new books for my boys!

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