Title: THE GOOD HAWK
Series: SHADOW SKYE – BOOK ONE
Author: JOSEPH ELLIOTT
Genre: FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DIVERSE FICTION, DISABILITIES, LGBTQ, MIDDLE GRADE FICTION
Length: 358 PAGES
Publisher: CANDLEWICK PRESS
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: JANUARY 21, 2020
Price: $17.99 USD
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Agatha is a Hawk, brave and fierce, who protects her people by patrolling the high walls of their island home. She is proud of her job, though some in her clan whisper that it is meant to keep her out of the way because of the condition she was born with.Jaime, thoughtful and anxious, is an Angler, but he hates the sea. Worse, he’s been chosen for a duty that the clan hasn’t required for generations: to marry. The elders won’t say why they have promised him to a girl in a neighboring clan, but there are rumors of approaching danger.When disaster strikes and the clan is kidnapped, it is up to Agatha and Jaime to travel across the haunted mainland of Scotia to Norveg, with help along the way from a clan of nomadic Highland bull riders and the many animals who are drawn to Agatha’s extraordinary gift of communication. Thrilling and dark yet rich with humor and compassion, this is the first book in the Shadow Skye trilogy, written by a wonderful new voice in fantasy and introducing a welcome new kind of hero.
What a rare gem is THE GOOD HAWK. The two protagonists are unlikely heroes. They know they have face their fears and use any and all gifts they may have to survive in this unique work of Dystopian Fiction.
Agatha has Down Syndrome (in the book there is no official diagnosis, but it is obvious to informed readers.) When was the last time you read a book, or even a short story, where the protagonist is a person with a “DisABILITY?”
Kudos to Author Joseph Elliott for challenging stereotypes and showcasing the fact that people are just people, and that everyone is different and every individual has a variety of things to offer the world.
This book is set in a world that is vaguely medieval and definitely dystopian. Agatha lives with her tribe in an enclave on an island reminiscent of those off the coast of Scotland. Even though Agatha has been assigned to be a “Hawk”, which is an important position in the tribal hierarchy, there are still many people who treat her with contempt and loathing because she is not like everyone else. The author does a terrific job depicting the discrimination Agatha faces on a daily basis.
Jamie is a young man who has recently been told that his permanent profession is to be an Angler. To say he is disappointed is an understatement. He does not like boats and has no interest in catching fish, but he has no choice. He will do what the Elders tell him, just like every other tribe member.
To add insult to injury, Jamie has also been told that he is to be married to a member of another tribe. He is horrified. No one in the tribe is married. They believe marriage is an archaic and unnecessary institution.
When their tribe is threatened, it is up to Agatha and Jamie to save them, but they are only two people, and young people at that. The task in front of them is momentous, it is daunting, and it would be much easier to just give up.
So, what do they do? How do they even begin? You will need to read the book to find out.
The action is unrelenting, and the surprises are continuous.
Agatha turns out to be special in many ways, and Jamie will confront not only physical dangers, he will also meet other people and other tribes and ultimately come to realize that many of the ideas and attitudes he has been taught since childhood are discriminatory. He will have to decide what he believes deep in his heart.
I read this book over a two day period and enjoyed every minute of it. This story will touch readers and will hopefully open their eyes to the fact that just because someone is “different” does not mean they are ‘lesser than.’
Yes, there are quite a few lessons to be learned from reading this book, but it is also a fantastic story that grabs the reader’s attention from the very first chapter. The characters are brilliantly depicted and the world is one which our world could easily become.
I am excited that the second book in the series is already being written and I will be eagerly awaiting it’s publication.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINK:
Click HERE to download the Winter 2020 Down Syndrome Magazine FREE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joseph Elliott is a writer, teacher, and actor known for his work in children’s television. The Good Hawk is his first book. He lives in London.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
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