Monday, April 14, 2008

a bird's eye view-- THE AVIAN CODE

just when i thought the joy of reading and books was lost on the younger generation to the tech world of video games, ipods, wii, etc., i realized a good story will always find a home (even if that requires self-publication)! this weekend i picked up a new book, courtesy of my co-worker at legal services. we often talk books but this one is near and dear to his heart. written by his son, brendan when he was just 11 years old, the avian code captures a piece of the wild... from the viewpoint of birds, specifically a peregrine falcon, an osprey, an arctic tern and a swallow-tailed kite.

brendan knows a lot about birds, their diets and migratory patterns... he recently won second place as the young birder of the year 2007 and first place in the writing category from the american birding association.

in his first book, brendan imagines in clever, witty details the society of birds. when their book, the avian code, filled with the laws and rules governing the avian world, is carelessly stolen and discarded by the human children, a band of feathered heroes takes flight to recover it.
a string of close calls and adventures awaits the rescue team... and along the way, they encounter their worst enemies... the humans (hunters, children who trample on nature, TV watchers), a roving gang of cowbirds, and also the evil rogue shrike.

i enjoyed the interesting details about each type of bird, their descriptions, habits and avian vocabulary which are intertwined with the adventure story (the author provides explanatory notes for avian terms). more importantly, brendan addresses the theme of humans versus nature, and how humans treat their environment. whether describing the hunter who shoots the falcon or the children who throw stones & hunt the birds for fun, he brings a voice to the avian world: "maybe someday all people will get brain-washed from television and forget to pollute our lovely environment," hopes katie aka katrina, the prairie falcon who joins the rescue team.

brendan, now 15, remains an avid birdwatcher and expert on avians... what next? avian code: the series... keep writing brendan!

1 comment:

Mark Fogarty said...

Excellent review of an excellent book!