Zumaya Publications, Inc
A book should be entertaining and, for the Young Adult age group, it’s a plus if it’s also educational. Golden Wings fulfills both criteria. By the end of the book, the reader is well versed on several species of birds and their habitats as well as their plight in surviving man's ignorance.
Geoffrey and his mum live in Tazmania. His Uncle Thomas and Auntie Steffie run an animal sanctuary so Geoffrey has many opportunities to see creatures up close. While Geoffrey and his mum are visiting his aunt and uncle, a woman shows up with an injured bird. It appears that the bird has a broken wing but on further examination, it turns out the bird has been shot. This is very serious as the bird is a wedge-tailed eagle, an endangered species. The woman leaves quickly without leaving her name or any information. Geoffrey's aunt and uncle provide the emergency care for Goldie, as Geoffrey dubs her, before sending her to the Wildlife Service Hospital for further care.
Geoffrey has a friend named Rebecca whose mother is very ill and has been away at hospital for a long time. She eventually passes away, leaving Rebecca without a mother. Over the course of time, Geoffrey's mum and Rebecca's dad become involved and decide to marry. The wedding takes place in New Zealand, where Geoffrey and him mum are from and where Geoffrey's grandparents live. While mum and dad are on their honeymoon, Geoffrey and Rebecca spend time with their Nanna and Poppa. They learn about falcons at the bird sanctuary in Motueka, South Island, New Zealand.
The story is told mostly through the entries that Geoffrey and Rebecca make in their travel diaries. The problem I found with Golden Wings is that it’s written in present tense, which makes it an unusual read. I believe it’s the first book I've read that was written that way and I had some difficulty getting into it. That aside, there is much information to be gleaned from this book concerning the eagles, falcons and other birds, and the local languages of New Zealand and Tazmania. I found it to be an interesting read.
Reviewed By MargeAnna Conrad
© March 2006