booktalks

young adult fictionOwl in Love by Patrice Kindl [pdf : 176k]

Subjects: Supernatural—Juvenile fiction; Owls—Juvenile fiction; Teacher-student relationships—Juvenile fiction
Book List: North America

Props: Owl mask

(Hold up owl mask) Owl, that’s my name as well as my nature. There are shape shifters, birds of prey, in my family going back hundreds of years, one every two or three generations. By day, I’m a normal (well, more or less) high school girl. But, by night, I fly the woods and fields in my neighborhood in owl shape. My parents are not owls but they taught me how to kill small rodents for my meals. They want me to be happy but I’m not. I’m in love.

I am in love with Mr. Lindstrom, my science teacher. You may think this is just a teenage crush. But owls choose their mates for life and I am very serious about Mr. Lindstrom. I perch on a branch outside his bedroom window and watch. I don’t hunt for food like I should. I grow thin for love of Mr. Lindstrom. He is 26 years older than I am, but that doesn’t matter to me. He is my chosen mate. (Put mask down)

Mr. Lindstrom wants us to prick our fingers tomorrow in science class and squeeze out one drop of red blood onto a glass slide so that we can test it for blood groupings. I would willingly give him anything, but not that. My blood, you see, is black and it wouldn’t fit in any group that anyone knows about. I’ll somehow have to get a drop of someone else’s blood, but I don’t have many friends. Kids think I’m odd sometimes. Lunch is hard because I mainly eat small rodents and insects. I can’t very well eat a mouse at the lunch table. Well, I did once. I put a mouse between 2 slices of bread. But the tail kept falling out and the bread was awful. If I eat human food, I loose the ability to fly or even to transform.

But there’s a deeper problem troubling me. I feel it when I’m watching Mr. Lindstrom at night. There’s something sinister in the woods near his house. I feel it’s human and I only know I have to protect Mr. Lindstrom. Sometimes there’s another owl that comes to my tree, but I’ve made it clear he’s not welcome and he usually leaves. I watch Mr. Lindstrom every night. I want to stay by my love every minute. But I have to eat. Sometimes mice will wander across his yard and that’s perfect. I can swoop down and catch them and have a nice meal right there where I’m watching him. But other times I have to hunt and then I’m not watching him and that worries me.

Is Mr. Lindstrom in trouble? Can Owl protect him? (Hold up book) Owl in Love by Patrice Kindl.

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