4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Sara and the Valley of Eagles is a children's book by Dan Martin. This imaginative adventure book is set in 1588. We follow the exploits of a daring young village girl who lives in the meadows, deep in the mountains of Wales.
When Govan - a village elder who is so old that no one knows how old he truly is - feels that his time is fast approaching, he decides it's time to pass on the story of their humble village's origins. Through his tale, Sara learns that the meadows they now live in once belonged to giant eagles. After losing a challenge to the humans, the eagles had vowed to leave the meadows and relocate to the mountains. However, they had warned that if any human ever entered their sacred mountains they would return and destroy the village. Headstrong Sara decides to search for the legendary eagles and befriend them. To her surprise, when she finally finds the eagles, she discovers that they are still sorely bitter and vengeful, and that she has just given them ammunition to wage war against her people. She also learns that the eagles have been starving since leaving the meadows. Sara must find a way to prevent the impending war and help the eagles who are slowly dying out.
Sara and the Valley of Eagles will appeal to preteens who have a keen sense of adventure and a huge imagination. I loved that aside from being immensely entertaining, it also carries lessons for the intended audience. For example, whenever Sara find herself in a pickle, she reminds herself to calm down and thinks through her options logically, always employing common sense. The biggest lesson that the book imparts is that our actions have consequences and that we have to take responsibility for those actions. Sara who starts off having little regard for how her decisions affect others, comes to learn to discern between wrong and right. The book introduces the concept of there being grey areas in decision making and weighing between decisions that aren’t clean cut. And so, I believe this book offers potential for growth to preteens who read it.
As a historical fiction fan, I loved that it includes and grew upon actual historical facts and events. On one of Sara's adventures, we get to meet Queen Elizabeth I and to witness up close the battle between the English fleets and the Spanish Armada.
I honestly cannot find a reason to deny it a perfect rating. It was well edited, had enjoyable content with substance and will definitely appeal to its intended audience. Thus, I rate Sara and the Valley of Eagles 4 out of 4 stars.
Sara and the Valley of Eagles
View: on Bookshelves