Wild Wings [NOOK Book]

Overview

This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.

When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret.
...
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Wild Wings

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Overview

This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.

When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret.
     She’s discovered a rare endangered bird, an Osprey, and it’s clear to both her and Callum that if anyone finds out about the bird, it, and its species, is likely doomed. Poachers, egg thieves, and wild weather are just some of the threats, so Iona and Callum vow to keep track of the bird and check her migratory progress using the code a preservationist tagged on her ankle, no matter what.
     But when one of them can no longer keep the promise, it’s up to the other to do it for them both. No matter what. Set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships, the wonders of the wild—and the everyday leaps of faith that set our souls to flight.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—A small, close-knit Scottish village becomes the backdrop for this dramatic story of animal rescue and the unlikely friendship of an 11-year-old boy and girl from different backgrounds, with the plot growing to involve people from two continents. Callum McGregor first encounters Iona McNair catching a fish from the swift river on his family's property with her bare hands. Curious about the girl's self-sufficiency and the "secret" she offers to share with him, he follows her to a platform of branches in a tall tree from which they can watch a male osprey building an aerie. They vow to keep the nest a secret. The female, named Iris by Iona, returns to lay her eggs, then becomes entangled in some fishing line, and the two young people must get help. A naturalist from the nearby preserve who treats the bird's injured foot and straps a satellite transmitter to her in order to follow her on her migratory journey to Africa and back. Then things begin to go wrong. Iona is suddenly gone, and when Iris's signal ceases as she journeys to her winter home, Callum must rely on a young girl in a hospital and a medical resident—both thousands of miles away—to help rescue the osprey. In the end, the village people work together to create a miracle of their own. Lewis offers sage advice on friendship and support. She shows that reaching out to others can bring life-changing results. This heartwarming and informative story, with its well-developed main characters, compares favorably with Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (Knopf, 2002) and Farley Mowat's Owls in the Family (Little, Brown, 1962) in offering an adventure that is hard to forget.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Publishers Weekly
The worlds of two villages in Scotland and the Gambia intersect through modern technology and the determined efforts of children to save an injured osprey. When 11-year-old Iona moves in with her elderly grandfather, who is considered a "nutter," most children ostracize her. But an unlikely friendship develops between Iona and her classmate Callum after she shares her discovery of an osprey nest on his farm. Knowing ospreys are endangered, they keep Iris's existence secret until a fishing line entangles her, forcing them to seek help. A naturalist saves Iris and tags her, allowing the children to track her flight from Scotland to Africa online. In her first novel, picture book author Lewis (The Most Precious Thing) deftly explores painful divisions within friendships and communities, which lead to broken relationships and unexpected tragedies, as well as surprising connections made across barriers of culture and distance when one person's passion inspires acts of generosity, kindness, friendship, and hope. Callum narrates most of the story, though several short chapters share Iris's perspective in this unsentimental and powerfully moving tale. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (May)
From the Publisher
Wild Wings

By Gill Lewis

Though Callum first sees Iona as an intruder on his family’s farmland, she reveals a secret that overcomes his reluctance to befriend her: she’s discovered a rare osprey aerie. For months, they watch a pair of raptors and their chicks until it’s nearly time for the birds’ migration to Africa. Keeping his closeness with Iona as deep a secret as the endangered ospreys’ nest, Callum begins to draw away from his other friends at school. After a shocking event, he gradually learns not only that he needs them, but also that he can depend on them and the rest of his village community more than he knew. Set in contemporary Scotland, this engaging novel is built on a solid foundation of characters who respond realistically to people and experiences. Even the minor characters are well drawn and convincing, and the interplay of individuals from different generations is portrayed with unusual finesse. A strong ecological theme runs through the novel, as the characters together work to protect one of the ospreys, even tracking an electronically tagged bird’s journey to Africa and finding allies to rescue her when she’s in danger. Full-page drawings, not seen in final form, will illustrate this vividly imagined and well-written novel.

Booklist, March 1, 2011, *STAR

Striving to protect the osprey nesting on his family’s farm in Scotland, 11-year-old Callum McGregor watches the bird throughout summer, uses a computer to follow her migration to Africa and sets in motion a remarkable chain of events. This rich, moving tale begins with a shared secret: It was classmate Fiona McNair who found the nest. When the bird is snagged in fishing line high in her pine, the circle expands to include Callum’s sheep-farming family and a ranger from a nearby preserve. When she migrates, Callum and friends Rob and Euan track her through the transmitter she carries on her back. When her signal disappears in a Gambian mangrove forest, 10-year-old Jeneba, hospitalized with broken legs, mobilizes the fishermen of her village and a visiting American doctor to rescue and rehabilitate her. Eventually—and entirely naturally—the bird’s story reaches around the world. The suspenseful story line is surrounded with precise details: the Scottish landscape, osprey behavior, the work of a sheepdog and the joy and pain of riding a trail bike. Short chapters, some with cliffhanging endings, will read aloud well. Callum’s first-person narrative is occasionally paralleled by the osprey’s own experience, as Callum imagines it. With universal themes of life and death, friendship and respect for the natural world, this is still quite particular, a powerfully memorable story of a boy’s grief and determination to keep a promise. - KIRKUS, March 1, 2011 *STAR

Wild Wings
Written by Gill Lewis and illustrated by Yuta Onada

(Atheneum; ISBN: 9781442414457; May 2011; Spring catalog p. 68)

The worlds of two villages in Scotland and the Gambia intersect through modern technology and the determined efforts of children to save an injured osprey. When 11-year-old Iona moves in with her elderly grandfather, who is considered a "nutter," most children ostracize her. But an unlikely friendship develops between Iona and her classmate Callum after she shares her discovery of an osprey nest on his farm. Knowing ospreys are endangered, they keep Iris's existence secret until a fishing line entangles her, forcing them to seek help. A naturalist saves Iris and tags her, allowing the children to track her flight from Scotland to Africa online. In her first novel, picture book author Lewis (The Most Precious Thing) deftly explores painful divisions within friendships and communities, which lead to broken relationships and unexpected tragedies, as well as surprising connections made across barriers of culture and distance when one person's passion inspires acts of generosity, kindness, friendship, and hope. Callum narrates most of the story, though several short chapters share Iris's perspective in this unsentimental and powerfully moving tale. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12.

Publishers Weekly, March 14, 2011, *STAR

Children's Literature - Elisabeth Greenberg
When Callum spots a strange girl tickling a fish out of his loch, he has no idea how his world will change. His biking friend Rob immediately storms down to her and creates a situation, calling Iona MacNair a thief. To his dismay, Rob finds himself drawn to Iona and her secret, ospreys nesting on his farm. Despite Callum's wanting to hang with his buds, he and Iona discover friendship in their common love of the wild osprey. When the female osprey is trapped in nylon fishing line and about to die, Iona wants to keep the secret, but Callum runs to his dad. Soon wildlife expert Hamish arrives to rescue the osprey and tag it with a radio transmitter. The children continue to watch, draw, and keep diaries about their special pair and the one hatching chick, while Callum struggles with how to be friends with everyone. Callum has promised to protect the ospreys, but Iris, the female, takes off for the mangroves swamps of the Gambia on her winter migration and the radio signal stops moving. Callum blitzes Gambia with emails asking for help to track the lost osprey; a young girl Jeneba responds from a hospital. Soon a whole village including the marabout who senses the spirit of the osprey joins the hunt. Callum and his friends, then his small town, then a global audience inspired by the story of the osprey and the African village band together to bring Jeneba to the UK for surgery. Iris and her mate are reunited in a moment which Hamish, Jeneba, and Callum share...and his promise to Iona is kept. This marvelous natural history story of friendships between both human beings and animals lists osprey resources on the Internet; students who are fascinated by this novel can continue to study and learn about the osprey, as Iona, Jeneba, and Callum did. Reviewer: Elisabeth Greenberg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442414495
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/24/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 212,631
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Gill Lewis is the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Wings and One White Dolphin, both winners of the Green Earth Book Award. A veterinarian, her love of animals and the natural world plays a big part in her writing. She lives in the UK.
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Read an Excerpt


I saw her first—a pale, skinny girl lying on a flat rock below the rapids. She was leaning out over the edge, reaching down into a deep pool of still water. Swirls of river foam clung to the bottom of her rolled-up sleeves and the floating ends of her long red hair. She was watching something in the dark river-shadows.

Rob and Euan pulled up beside me by the gap in the trees, their bike tires skidding on the muddy track.

“What you looking at, Callum?” said Rob.

“Someone’s down there,” I said. “A girl.”

Euan pushed away a pine branch to get a better view down to the river. “Who is it?”

“Dunno,” I said. “She’s nuts though. It must be freezing in there.” I looked up and down the river to see if she was with anyone, but there was no one. She was on her own.

The river was fast and swollen from the heavy rains. It came down from the loch in the high glen above us. Late March snow still clung to the mountain gullies. The loch and river were cold as ice.

“She’s on our river,” scowled Rob.

The girl slipped her arm in deeper. Water crept over her sleeve and up to her shoulder.

“What’s she doing?” I said.

Euan dropped his bike onto the ground. “Fishing, that’s what.”

The girl plunged forward in a blur of spray. When she sat back up, she was clutching a massive brown trout. It flapped and thrashed in her wet hands. She flicked her hair back over her head, and for the first time we could clearly see her face.

“I know her,” said Rob.

I turned to look at him. His face was dark and grim.

“Who is she?” I said.

But Rob was already off his bike and marching down the riverbank toward her.

“Rob,” I called.

The girl looked up and saw us, and tried to hide the fish in her arms.

Euan and I ran down to the water’s edge following Rob. A narrow channel of fast water ran between us and the girl.

Rob yelled across at her. “Iona McNair!”

The girl scrambled to her feet.

Rob leaped across to the flat rock and grabbed her arm. “You’re a thief, Iona McNair, just like your ma.”

The girl struggled to hold the slippery fish. “I’m not stealing,” she cried.

Rob pulled the fish from her and jumped back onto the riverbank. “Then what d’you call this?” He held the fish up high. “This is Callum’s river and you’re stealing.”

They all looked at me now.

“What about it, Callum?” said Rob. “What’s the punishment for fishing on your farm without a permit?”

I opened my mouth, but no words came out.

“I don’t need a permit,” spat Iona, “I didn’t use a rod.”

“You’re a thief!” shouted Rob. “And we don’t want you here.”

I looked at Iona and she narrowed her eyes at me.

Rob dropped the thrashing fish on the ground and picked up a plastic bag next to Iona’s coat on the riverbank. “What else have you got in here?”

“Leave it; it’s mine,” yelled Iona.

Rob tipped out a pair of old sneakers and a tatty notebook. He picked up the notebook from the ground and flicked the mud from it.

Iona jumped across to the riverbank and tried to snatch it from him. “Give it back. It’s secret.” She bit her lip, as if she’d said too much.

Her hands were shaking, and her arms and feet were blue with cold.

“Give it back, Rob,” I said.

“Yeah,” said Euan. “Come on, Rob, let’s go.”

“Wait a sec,” said Rob. He started flicking over the pages. “Let’s see what secret she’s trying to hide.”

Iona tried to grab the book, but Rob held it out of reach, laughing.

“What’s your secret, Iona McNair?” he taunted.

The pages fluttered in the breeze. I glimpsed pencil drawings of animals and birds, and lots of scribbled notes. A page hung open on a painting of the loch in deep grays and purples.

Iona jumped and tore the book from his hands. She leaped across to the flat rock and held the book over the water. “I’ll never tell you,” she cried. “Never.”

Rob took a step toward her. “Come on. Let’s see.”

Iona’s face was fierce and set.

“Leave it, Rob,” I shouted.

Euan tried to pull him away, but Rob shook him off.

“What’s the big secret, Iona?” shouted Rob. He lunged toward her.

Iona leaped across the rocks to the far riverbank. It was an impossible leap. She slipped on a wet rock and went tumbling into a deep pool on the far side. The notebook flew from her hand and spun through the air before it hit the fast water and was gone. Iona scrambled out of the river and disappeared up the steep bank into dense pine forest. The river surged down the valley between us, taking the notebook and Iona’s secret away with it.

© 2011 Gill Lewis

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Wild WOW!!!!!

    This book is the best book that i have ever read!!! This is for the person with the headline of "to jim". What does that even have to do with the book? Anyway back to the book. Its such a good book!!! I agree with the person who said that it warms your heart. Its about like Callum meets a girl named Iona and she tells callum a secret about the farm that callum dosnt know and callum has lived there all of his life. I reccomend this book to anyone who likes books that have adventure throughout it the whole time:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Great book

    10

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Kayliee

    Mornin

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

    Posted July 23, 2014

    Jason

    Can we set a time likemwhere we both can bw on?

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

    Posted September 8, 2013

    Wild wings

    This book is amazing! It warms your heart from the top to bottem!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Not bad

    Not that GOOD but not that bad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Hi

    I think this book wasnt funny and action packed more than other childrens chapter books. Again this is why i rate this book One star.:+)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Sydney to all

    YOLO!!!!!!!!! WHAT UP PEEPS!!!!"!!!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Jackson to jade

    Hello se.xy

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Jade to jackson

    *i smile* so how you doin?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 30, 2013

    To jim

    DIEDIEDIE!!! Connor stabs u than chops ur head off

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Rusty ruels

    Is this a good book? I am reading one white dolphin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    I love it so much it is great

    From:anonmyous

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Yo

    Hi people

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    Gg

    Vggghhhhhh

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Looks good

    This book looks good and heart warming.... i might try it.. will you?!?! :) i would give it 5 stars if i read it

    -Kat

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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