cover image Hawk Hill

Hawk Hill

Chronicle Books, Suzie Gilbert. Chronicle Books, $14.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0839-2

Diffident and lonely after moving to a new town, Pete finds solace on a hilltop where he can gaze up at hawks reeling in the sky. When he happens upon a nearby farmstead, he is met by a gruff, uncommunicative woman who rescues injured raptors. She carries a wounded red-tailed hawk. Captivated by the feathered victim, Pete returns day after day to the rehabilitator's barn without her welcome. Initially, the taciturn woman has no use for the boy. But in the silence between them, a mutual fascination begins to speak. Debut author Gilbert's text--as loquacious as its characters are laconic--draws readers easily and gently into Pete's world. In the warm light and realistic characterizations of Long's (Alejandro's Gift) watercolors, humans and wild creatures share a believable albeit brief kinship. Ultimately, the tale is of a lasting human friendship: the woman teaches the boy the dignity of his reticence; he inspires in her the courage to call wild animals her own before letting them go. An illustrated raptor glossary is appended. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)