Guardians of Ga’Hoole Book One: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky
Keeping up with my sons’ reading has grown more and more difficult. I try to at least skim or read reviews from reliable sources before I go handing out books willy-nilly, but as they read faster and faster (and eat more, and create more laundry) I don’t always keep caught up. Then there is the difficulty of wanting to read books of my own, while I enjoy juvenile and young adult literature, it’s not my sole focus.
Roo has been reading the Guardian of Ga’Hoole Series. The cover art was effective and caught my attention. While definitely not an “easy reader” the print is not small and with under 250 pages it was a quick read for me.
I’ve always had a fascination with owls and Lasky’s thorough research and ability to translate that into prose, makes it easy to envision the owl characters of this story.
Book One: The Capture begins in the Forest of Tyto with one of the two focus characters, Soren a three week old barn owl. As the story unfolds he meets tiny, but mighty, Gylfie, an Elf Owl. The story tells of the abduction of these two owlets taken from their families and their plan and subsequent actions to escape their awful captors.
Guardians: The Capture has some very sad and dark themes: abduction, abuse, oppression, and destruction of families. There are positive themes also which include: friendship and loyalty, clinging to the teachings of family, remaining strong, persevering and believing.
Lasky’s writing was exciting enough to draw me in and keep me coming back to finish the story. Her use of anthropomorphism, giving human traits to animals, is well done, reminding me somewhat of Brian Jacques’ Redwall characters. I’ve noticed a lot of parents reading this series, either aloud to or alongside their children. Definitely the book provides a springboard for many topics.
Guardians of Ga H’oole is recommended for ages 9-13, although if a parent were reading aloud a younger audience would be able to follow it, depending on the temperament of the child—sensitive children may be upset by the violence that is inherent to the type of story, which I would describe as action/fantasy as much as a story about animals.
And yes…I will be reading the sequels…Roo’s enjoyed sharing with me and they are quite well done.