25 January 2012

Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky

Matty is the daughter of Nottingham's most famous falconer.  After her mother is brutally murdered by Prince John's men, her father teaches her many things to help her not only survive, but thrive as well.  It turns out that Matty is exceptional at falconry in her own right, at times it seems as though she is almost part bird, and she certainly is able to communicate with them through sound and feeling.  As Matty grows up, Prince John becomes more powerful and when the good King Richard is captured and held for ransom, she and her friends decide that they must do something to help their country.  So Matty becomes Maid Marion to secure a place working in the castle, and her friends form into a band of Merry Men: Robin Hood, Little John, Rich, and Will Scarlet.  Together they must find their own power, strength, and ability to ensure that good wins over evil.

This retelling of the legendary Robin Hood is in the capable hands of Kathryn Lasky, and middle grade and middle school readers who like adventure stories, historical fiction, and action will enjoy this read.  Though it's a relatively quick read, it's packed with death, destruction, and a little bit of a love story.

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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