4 out of 4 stars
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Freedom Is For The Birds by JM Sutherland is a fictional animal novel. It follows a family of red-tailed hawks as they travel to find and rebuild their old nest. Written from the point of view of the hawk, this book easily portrays the hardships and resulting perseverance of animals.
K'Lar and D'Ree are a pair of hawks that have left their summer home of Mexico to return to Canada. They want to find their old nest before D'Ree lays her next clutch of eggs. However, they arrive at their old nesting area to discover it has been destroyed to make room for human buildings. As they are desperately trying to find a new home, an older hawk, T'Nal, offers the use of his hunting area. He is widowed and alone. He quickly becomes family to the pair of hawks and their new brood.
The story continues with the day-to-day activities of the hawks as they teach their young fledglings about their world. They learn about humans from a wise, old owl who teaches all the young animals in the hunting area. They learn about Mother Nature and are taught to respect all life. They learn how to hunt for food and stay away from humans.
The rest of the book follows the lives of the hawk family and the adventures they have as they migrate to their winter home in Mexico. They must arrive in the Land of All Hawks by a certain date, when all the young hawks will pledge respect to their elders and be accepted into the Hawk community.
If you have a love for animals, this is definitely a book for you. The book appeared to be professionally edited and there were no noticeable errors. I was impressed with the writing style. The author writes from the hawks' point of view, while giving the different animals human emotions and qualities. I enjoyed having appendices provided at the end of the book to keep the many names and their relationships straight. The animals each have distinct personalities. They are brought to life and set against the beautiful backdrop of nature.
At first you might think this would be more of a children's book with talking animals. However, this book would appeal to all ages. The story is captivating and moves at a quick pace. It weaves a message of human pollution throughout the story, without detracting from the animals and their message of hope and perseverance. Based on the above observations, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I believe this book will be enjoyed by teens and adults that like something a little different. The author shows us a look at the world around us from an animal's point of view. The tale is thought-provoking and will make you wonder if humans really need to build that next housing development. The area is probably already home to many animals. Just something for us to think about.
Freedom Is For The Birds
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