The Bottom Line
A lighthearted read, Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes is perfect for birders of all ages. Birding details captivate readers with an interest in nature, while insights into relationships and being true to oneself are particularly poignant for young readers. The overall message of embracing differences and uniqueness is timeless and applies not only to birders, but to everyone.
- Rich description and vivid details do not overwhelm readers
- Bird behavior and vocalizations included in descriptions
- Relevant youth issues and appropriate vocabulary for teens
- Includes online teacher resource suggestions
- Second half of the story pays less attention to birding details
- Multiple subplots without relation to birds can drag
- Title: Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes
- Author: Georgia Anne Butler
- Publisher: Pinchey House Press
- Publication Date: February 1, 2010
- Format: Paperback
- Page Count: 204
- ISBN: 978-0-9820342-1-7
- Price: $7.99
Guide Review - Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes
Claire Belle is a passionate birder with keen observation skills and a flair for birding by ear that will instantly appeal to birders of any age when they open Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes. Georgia Anne Butler incorporates intimate birding details that add richness to the book, and while it is written for young readers, even adults will admire and envy Claire's obsession for birding, clearly evident in how "she studied the stripes of sparrows in field guides, listened to recordings of warblers' songs and kept a daily log of every bird she saw or heard."
Multiple subplots focusing on youth issues such as peer pressure and evolving friendships, while appropriate for the audience, tend to grow less focused on birding and may seem to drag for bird-oriented readers. Abrupt scene shifts and topic changes reinforce those non-birding subplots and can be distracting. Despite these focus shifts, however, the overall birding and bird conservation theme remains strong throughout the book and reinforce the insights Claire learns: "Some people care about birds and others don't. And you care more than most."
Not just a casual book for entertainment, The Legend Awakes also includes teaching resources and suggestions. Online resources include a blog and a gallery of bird species mentioned in the book and can be a great starting point for lessons or projects. The book also includes note pages for starting a life list or birding journal, which can be useful for beginning birders, homeschooling lessons or bird-related projects.
Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes is an unusual bird-related book that combines mystery, passion and relationships together with birding prowess and a commitment to conservation. Perfect for readers and birders of all ages, this first book in the Of the Wing Trilogy is an enjoyable read with a pleasant birding focus.