"Strong setting and well-drawn cast of complicated, evolving characters . . . ."

                                                                                                                      Kirkus Review

"The story will engage the middle-grade set, but really deserves readers beyond that group as it is so well written and full of universal themes."

                                                                                                                 San Francisco Book Review


Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood

Winner of an Oregon Spirit Award, and 2018-2019 Oregon Battle of the Books selection!

Copyright 2016 Melissa Hart. 

All rights reserved.

Melissa Hart, a desperately lonely young divorcée and L.A. transplant, learns to train injured and orphaned raptors at a local wildlife center after falling in love with a fellow volunteer. Initially bonding over the desire for a child-free life, Hart and her new husband decide to adopt a baby and find themselves entangled in the bizarre world of international adoption. They navigate politics, corruption, and death before deciding instead to adopt a toddler from the foster care system. 

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​Torn between the high socioeconomic status of her father and the bohemian lifestyle of her mother, Melissa Hart tells a compelling story of contradiction in this coming-of-age memoir. When her mother flees with her children and comes out as a lesbian in 1979, Hart revels in her new and largely Mexican neighborhood. But when her volatile father sues for custody and wins, she finds herself struggling for identity and separated from her beloved mother. Gay and lesbian parents were routinely separated from their children in the 1970s and 1980s--Hart's is but one story among thousands. 

"Twin narratives skillfully woven together make for an exciting and endearing roller coaster of a memoir."    

                                                                                                                          Publisher's Weekly
"A delight, an uncommon braiding of family, heartbreak, romance, redemption, and--of course--raptors.  In sparkling prose, Melissa Hart has woven a tale as intricate and as beautiful as a bird's nest."
                                                                   --Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Mozart's Starling

Read an excerpt of Wild Within here.

Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls

Inspired a Family

Thirteen-year old Solo Hahn is a mixed-race kid with 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 attacks the only thing that matters to him. When Solo tries to shoot the bird and injures a neighbor boy with Down syndrome, he’s forced to do community service at a raptor rescue center with his newly-sworn enemies . . . owls.

"A quirky narrative of artfully reconstructed memories." 

                                                                                                                                     Kirkus Reviews

​"Hart has crafted a well-balanced tale that forgoes blame in favor of poignancy."

                                                                                                                                    The Oregonian

Read an excerpt of Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood here