I teach for Laurel Springs School. Sometimes, I also get to teach for the Whidbey Writers Workshop M.F.A. Program. You can catch me leading workshops and eating too many chocolate chip cookies at writing conferences across the Pacific Northwest. I blog about travel with my family at Show Me the Monkey.
Thirteen-year old Solo Hahn boasts a big-screen TV, a room full of surfing trophies, and a beach house in Southern California. Then his father, worn down by a Hollywood career, attempts suicide, and his mother moves the family to a trailer in Oregon where a Great-horned owl kills his kitten. Solo tries to shoot the bird and injures a neighbor boy with Down syndrome. He’s forced to do community service at a local raptor rescue center.
Melissa Hart’s middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, April 2016) takes readers on a modern-day hero’s journey. The protagonist is a mercenary high school freshman who discovers unexpected courage and compassion in helping to rehabilitate birds of prey. Though Solo plans to run away, he’s reluctantly intrigued by his new environment and befriends his disabled neighbor and two college students who volunteer with him.
When his father vanishes, Solo depends on these friendships and on his growing passion for Oregon’s flora and fauna. His father returns with plans to move the family back to California. Bewildered, Solo flees to the raptor center with the neighbor boy and defends a Great-horned owl against a man who threatens to have her destroyed.