Of a Feather by Dayna Lorentz
Release date: February 9th, 2021
In the vein of Barbara O’Connor’s Wish, a moving, poignant story told in alternating perspectives about a down-on-her-luck girl who rescues a baby owl, and how the two set each other free.
Great horned owl Rufus is eight months old and still can’t hunt. When his mother is hit by a car, he discovers just how dangerous the forest can be.
Reenie has given up on adults and learned how to care for herself—a good thing, since she’s sent to live with an aunt she’s never met. Yet this aunt has a wonderful secret: she’s a falconer who agrees to help Reenie catch an injured passage hawk in the wild and rehabilitate it.
When Reenie traps bedraggled Rufus, his eyes lock onto her heart, and they form a powerful friendship. But can Rufus learn to trust in the outside world and fly free? And can Reenie open her heart enough to truly soar?
This was such a great story featuring a unique young girl Reenie, and Rufus, a great horned owl she and her aunt rehabilitate. Of a Feather features a subject that I find quite interesting – falconry. In addition to being a falconer, Reenie’s aunt is also able to rehabilitate injured birds of prey. While Reenie and her aunt had their hopes set on rehabilitating a passage hawk over the winter they wound up with Rufus – a great horned owl who isn’t doing quite so great on his own in the wild.
The family dynamic in this book is both heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. As a result of her situation Reenie has become more mature than most children her age. Bit by bit her aunt, her newly found friends and Rufus himself chip away at the armor she’s created to protect herself. The friendships that Reenie unexpectedly forges bring light to the fact that you don’t always know what someone’s life is like based solely on appearances. This book was definitely worthy of a “who saved who” sticker and I just love tales like this.
The chapters told from Rufus’ perspective are comical and lighthearted but still draw from the dangers that fierce birds of prey face in today’s world. I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue between Rufus and Red the hawk. We also see Rufus struggle with becoming content in the safety of rehabilitation and his desire to return to the wild – finally the great horned owl he was always meant to be.
Of a Feather is a beautiful middle grade book about found family, tough subjects for kids, and being brave enough to trust others. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy birds, falconry, rehabilitation/rescue, found family, middle grade, and tough subjects for kids to process (divorce, unavailable parents, depression and anxiety). This is one book that I will be saving in hopes of sharing it with my daughter once she is old enough to read it. I would like to thank Amazon Vine and HMH Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read a gifted copy of this book – all opinions are my own.