An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

( 13 )

Overview

From the moment Jeff Guidry saw the baby eagle with broken wings, his life was changed. For weeks he and the staff at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Puget Sound, Washington, tended to the injured bird. Miraculously, she recovered, and Jeff, a center volunteer, became her devoted caretaker. Though Freedom would never fly, she had Jeff as her wings. And after Jeff was diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2000, Freedom returned his gift. Between sessions of debilitating chemotherapy, Jeff’s visits to...

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An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

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Overview

From the moment Jeff Guidry saw the baby eagle with broken wings, his life was changed. For weeks he and the staff at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Puget Sound, Washington, tended to the injured bird. Miraculously, she recovered, and Jeff, a center volunteer, became her devoted caretaker. Though Freedom would never fly, she had Jeff as her wings. And after Jeff was diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2000, Freedom returned his gift. Between sessions of debilitating chemotherapy, Jeff’s visits to Freedom and their special bond soothed his spirit and gave him the strength to fight. A tender tale of hope, love, trust, and life, this moving true story is an affirmation of the spiritual connection that humans and animals share.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
After a musician took an injured eagle under his wing, the bird returned the favor. In 1996, professional guitarist and animal-lover Guidry began volunteering at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to animal rescue and rehab. For years, the author found immense satisfaction in the few hours each week spent cleaning, feeding and caring for injured "wild ones," as he calls them-the animals ranged from a Patagonian cougar to flying squirrels, hawks, raccoons and black bears. In 1998, his engagement with Sarvey took a more serious turn when a young eagle was brought in. "The eagle looked up at me," he writes, "and my old life was over, a new second life begun." Covered with lice, the eagle had two broken wings and was so emaciated that she couldn't stand. Guidry and others tube-fed her for more than a month and were within days of having to euthanize her when Freedom, as the bird eventually came to be named, finally stood up. Because the extent of her wing injuries had rendered Freedom unable to fly and, consequently, be released into the wild, Guidry began the slow process of glove training her to help her adapt to a new life in captivity. When the author was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the bond between the two grew. Physically and psychologically ravaged by eight months of crippling chemotherapy, Guidry sought and found spiritual refuge in Freedom, with the bird figuratively comforting him in his dreams and literally embracing him with her wings on the day he learned he was in remission. Though plainly told and often syrupy, this inspirational memoir of mutual courage and compassion is sure to have wide appeal. Agent: Kate Epstein/EpsteinLiterary Agency
From the Publisher
"Listeners will never believe that narrator John Pruden didn't himself fall in love with this beautiful bird of prey. The way he tells of the two beings—one bird, one human, each bringing freedom from peril to the other—sounds as intimate as life itself." —-AudioFile
Library Journal
Guidry, a former guitarist with the Beach Boys, was volunteering with the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Washington State when a malnourished eaglet with two broken wings was brought in for treatment. Knowing that it would never be able to fly but hopeful that it would participate in their raptor educational programs, the staff nursed the eagle, dubbed Freedom, back to health. Guidry played a significant part in its rehabilitation and formed a special bond with this majestic bird. In 2000, Guidry was diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. During the grueling months of chemotherapy, it was the time spent with Freedom that brought him comfort and gave him a will to fight. Guidry is a gifted wordsmith who, like the Native American storytellers from whom he draws inspiration, vividly describes the breathtaking beauty of the landscape and the dedicated staff who expend their time, energies, and, in some cases, their fortunes rescuing wildlife. VERDICT In the tradition of Irene Pepperberg's Alex & Me, this heartwarming, engrossing story will attract patrons who enjoy personal narratives about the human-animal bond.—Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062015501
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 317,256
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Guidry is a rock and rhythm-and-blues guitarist who has played with such artists as Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and guitarist Roy Buchanan. He spends his spare time volunteering for the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Washington State. He lives in Monroe, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(3)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wildlife rehab

    This story was recommended by a friend who knows the author. It is Jeff Guidry's ten-year story of his friendship with an eagle named Freedom, who Guidry met when he started volunteering at the Sarvey Wildlife Center in Arlington, WA. It is touching and sometimes leads to tears, but also uplifting as Guidry describes animal rescues and the dedicated folks who rescue and care for the animals which other people has often mismanaged or abandoned. There were a few disconnects for me, such as numerous comments about Native Americans and their connection with animals (or "the wild ones" as Guidry calls them), but a bit more information about those connections would've been nice. Overall it was a nice story but it just didn't grab me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Best book

    Best book ever i could not put the book down most meaning full book ever!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Mare Cave

    This is a cave for Freedom Herd mares.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Interesting story - simplistic writing

    Although the story provided insight into the relationship between Freedon and the author, I didn't find the writing to be very original. It sort of felt like it was written for a young reader (i.e., elementary school).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This has to be one of my favorites. Its a truly remarkable friendship.I read this book and it took me about 3 days because I just couldn't put it down. A great book!!!

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    SUGAR RUSH

    HE HE HA HE HE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    A very powerful tale

    I purchased this book after watching the short clip of Jeff and Freedom on this site. Moved, I wanted to know how this event came to pass, and while Jeff shared this tale beautifully, he actually gave much more. Jeff and Freedom and the committment/caring/healing/communication that they share were central to the tale, but the book as a whole also encompassed the tales of the larger group of unique and incredible individuals that provided the setting in which Jeff and Freedom came together. This was an amazing look into the lives and experiences of some enlightened and caring individuals and the 'wild ones' who intersected with them to share some portion of their respective journies together. Jeff Guidry shares the very rare and incredible gift that he has been given, but it is easy to see that he earned every bit of that and more. It was a great joy to read about the better parts of humanity as they reached even greater heights and how the vastness of nature opened up to these efforts and responded in kind.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    If you love animals...

    I'm a sucker for animal stories so, of course, the picture of a magnificent eagle (along with author Jeff Guidry) that adorns this book jacket drew my attention immediately. What I received upon reading this book more than I bargained for. I not only learned about wild animal rescue, but I also entered the private world of Jeff Guidry. The story he tells is simple in words but profound in experience. It traverses the spiritual world, the customs of Native Americans, and the companionship of individuals who devote their lives to helping wild animals in distress. In a sudden bout of misfortune, Guidry also tells of being diagnosed with cancer and having to endure its gruesome treatment. I marveled at how an eagle named Freedom became the symbol of life for the author.

    Maybe I'm a bit too sensitive, but I was getting teary-eyed at both the happy parts of this book as well as the sad parts. I loved the color photographs of the more interesting "patients" (and their humans) at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Washington State. My only wish for this book would have been to have the few specific animal terms (for example: bating, green, flight--when used to mean a cage) explained when first used.

    To animal lovers and those who respect the natural order of the world, I must say that you're in for a treat with what Guidry has chosen to share. My hope is that this book will evoke your compassion and a bit more understanding of wild animals and help you to make some good decisions should you encounter any wild animals in distress in the future. In the meantime, grab a hankie and begin to read.

    (My copy of this book was from the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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