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Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky

Published by Scholastic Press

Pages: 240

Ages: 9 and up

Publishers Summary: In the first book in the GUARDIANS series, the reader is introduced to Soren, a barn owl and the centerpiece of the series. When Soren is pushed from his family’s nest by his older brother, he is rescued from certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for orphaned owls, St. Aggie’s. When Soren arrives at St. Aggie’s, he suspects there is more to the school than meets the eye. He and his new friend, the clever and scrappy Gylfie, find out that St. Aggie’s is actually a training camp where the school’s leader can groom young owls to help achieve her goal.

“A school for orphans that aren’t really orphans, an angry and volatile older brother, strange magic, an almost unbelievable legend and an incredible adventure await in the first book in the series of Guardians of Ga’Hoole. Soren plays the central character along with his family, Gylfie – an Elf Owl, Twilight – a true orphaned owl and Digger – a Burrowing Owl as the supporting characters. Each has their own story to tell and takes you on an adventure you will scarcely forget after putting the book down.

“Before seeing the trailer for the movie version of The Guardians of Ga’Hoole I hadn’t heard much about the book series. I know some of you may be shocked, considering there are actually around 16 books in the series currently, but I hadn’t heard of it. I’m now wishing it hadn’t taken me so long to discover this incredible series of books. The story is told from the perspective of a small recently hatched Barn Owl named Soren. To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of stories from the perspectives of animals unless they are done really really well. This one is. The author, Kathryn Lasky, actually has quite a bit of education related to owl research and it shows in nearly every page of the book. It enhances the story and helps reading from the viewpoint of an owl much more believable than I ever thought possible.

“Not only is the book quite educational with information ranging from the types of owls in existence to their varying character traits, but it’s also a grand adventure. Soren is kidnapped in the beginning of the story and taken to an ‘orphanage’ for small owlets. Soren’s struggle with the motives of the orphanage and the varying things that happen to the owls there make him so much more determined to escape and help prevent it’s continuation. Even in the short span of 240 pages you are taken throughout the orphanage, meeting new owls and friends, to his subsequent escape and further adventure to reach the Tree of Ga’Hoole. It’s a page turner from the very beginning to the end.

“If I had any qualms with the book, it would be that a few of the scenes were quite gruesome. At times I caught myself asking others if they thought a nine year old could handle reading about some of the more ‘scary’ parts of the book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an incredible book, I just worry that some parts of the book may give younger children some troubling dreams. I’d definitely recommend it as a read-together for younger kids, that way you can discuss some of the ‘scarier’ parts in hopes of avoiding frightening them.

“Without a doubt I absolutely enjoyed The Capture. It was non-stop action, education and heart from beginning to end. I can’t wait to pick up the next in the series and I plan to see the movie as soon as I possibly can. If for no other reason to see Soren, the main character, and his friend Gylfie triumph over the evil in St.Aggies and also to truly ‘see them’ in action. This is by far the first series for middle grade readers that I have read since Harry Potter that had me not wanting to put the book down. An incredible beginning to an original and intriguing adventure!”

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 11 and up. An incredible, original adventure that young readers and adults alike will thoroughly enjoy. Definitely recommended as a read-together for the youngest of readers, most between ages 9 and 11.

The Official Site for The Guardians of Ga’Hoole series.

Take a look at the movie trailer that got me hooked on this fantastic new series (Email and RSS Subscribers may have to click-thru to view):


Two winners will receive:

  • A copy of Guardians of Ga’hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky
  • A copy the first book in Kathryn Lasky’s new series — Wolves of the Beyond: Lone Wolf
    The Official Site for the Wolves of Beyond and summary: In the harsh wilderness beyond Ga’Hoole, a wolf mother hides in fear. Her newborn pup, otherwise healthy, has a twisted leg. The mother knows the rigid rules of her kind. The pack cannot have weakness. Her pup must be abandoned on a desolate hill—condemned to die. But alone in the forest, the pup, Faolan, does the unthinkable. He survives. This is his story—the story of the wolf pup who rises up to change forever the Wolves of the Beyond.

Details: Two winners will win the above set of books and be chosen at random after the contest closes. You MUST fill out the form below, comments will not count as entries. Only one entry per household. Giveaway is open to US Residents only. The giveaway will run from September 7, 2010 until September 24, 2010 midnight EST.

This book was provided for review and giveaway by Scholastic Press. Thank you!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with IndieBound.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered! Please make sure to check back for more great giveaways coming soon!

21 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for this review. I’m like you–I’m often leery of animal point of view books, although they can be great when done well. This is an unfamiliar series to me, but sounds as though it might be worth checking out. 🙂

  2. this book is actually in my TBR pile but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Good to know about the gruesome bits. My daughter likes animal stories as long as they arenLt too scary. I’ll hold off giving her this one for a bit.

  3. Janelle says:

    I also just discovered the series and will be reviewing the first book soon. Like you, I really thought it was well written, but thought some of the scenes were a little troubling and violent. I read the second book in the series and it was a lot less dark and less violent.

    • That’s good to hear, because I’m starting the next book soon and I was hoping to veer away from the gruesome parts. But I’m guessing it had to be discussed because of the situation with St. Abbie’s.

  4. Christie says:

    Fantastic review! My son loves this series. I might have to borrow his copy 🙂

  5. I cannot wait to read this series – I absolutely love, love, love owls!! I have my fingers crossed for the giveaway!!
    Fabulous review!

  6. Christie says:

    Wanted to add my son was 8 when he read this series. His teacher actually read the first book to his multi-age class (3rd and 4th grade). I haven’t actually read it, but I never heard my son or his friends mention the violence. He has read almost all of this series now.

    Also thanks for the heads up on her wolf series. I’m always looking for new books for my 10 year old speed reader LOL

    • That’s really good to hear actually. It’s so interesting how everyone sees things so differently and I may just have a different slant on things. I wonder if it helped that his teacher read it to them? I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in his class, just to see the different reactions. You know?

      But really, I’m so happy to hear he liked it so much and I’m certain he’ll enjoy the wolf series if he liked the owls. 🙂

      • Christie says:

        I agree about being a fly on the wall. He is reading R.L Stine now, and doesn’t hesitate to tell me about each gruesome part (usually at dinner) LOL Most are books I read when they were first published so we can discuss. You have my curiosity piqued about the owls. I must check it out 🙂

        • You’ll definitely have to pick it up, it’s great! That’s fantastic though about your son! I really hope that my kiddos will do that with me once they are a bit older, it would be great to have reading buddies in the house. 🙂

  7. Wow. This sounds lovely. And like it would be great for any child.

  8. Gina says:

    Great review there…and such high praises! Could definitely see many a young reader jumping into this one….. ^_^

  9. […] Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky giveaway (US, ends 24 Sep) […]

  10. My daughter would love these books! Thanks

  11. Logan Schlachta says:

    I really love these books you should make more coppies of them. they are really entertaning. i just keep reading your books guardians of ga hoole over and over again. i would really like to meet you i love owls as well. I wish i could have one as a pet but my mom wont let me.

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