Genre: middle grade talking animal fantasy
Length: 242 pages
Setting: immediately following the events of The Capture, mostly around the island with the Great Ga’Hoole Tree
Interest: We needed some audiobooks for our trip to Boston. Since we had enjoyed the first book in the series, we were happy to see the second was also available from the library in audio format.
Summary: Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, Digger, and Mrs. Plithiver (the blind snake) are on their way to the Great Ga’Hoole Tree to join the Guardians of Ga’Hoole in order to fight against St. Aggies’ owls. The Band isn’t exactly sure where the Great Ga’Hoole Tree is, and have several adventures in the process of finding the Tree, including being blown off course into an Arctic environment. Once they found the Tree, they are taken into the community there, which involves being chosen for chaws (specialized tasks). They each find a chaw they enjoy, but Soren is still haunted by his concern for his sister, Eglantine. They find Eglantine along with many other Tyto owlets, who are all brought back to the Great Ga’Hoole Tree for rehabilitation.
Final thoughts: This one was a bit slow. The majority of the story is taken up by the journey to the Great Ga’Hoole Tree, followed by learning the tasks of their chaw. It is only at the very end, when Eglantine is found, that we see any indication of a conflict on the horizon. The kids enjoyed the story, but I found it a bit boring overall. I found the audio version of the book to be enjoyable, but it’s always interesting to see some of the words written out instead of just spoken. For example, I thought the chaws were called chores, and I thought one of the owls’ names was Aunt Alissa but turns out it was Otulissa. It doesn’t change the understanding of the story, just provides a different experience.
Title comes from: The majority of the story was about the Band’s journey to find the Guardians of Ga’Hoole.
Reading challenges fulfilled: None since this was an audiobook.
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