The Hatchling by Kathryn Lasky

Book # 7 of the Guardian of Ga’Hoole series told the story of Nyroc, the owl chick of Nyra and Kludd, the leaders of the Pure Ones.  Nyroc is being groomed to be the new Tyto Alba of the Union of Pure ones and is succeeding at every task better than any other owl.  The only problem with Nyroc is that he doesn’t want to hate; he wants to love and find truth.  He discovers that he has the rare gift of flame reading during his deceased father’s Marking Ceremony.  It is through this gift that he sees how his father really died and realizes that his mum has been lying to him.  The final straw that drives Nyroc away from his mother and the Pure Ones is when Nyra expects Nyroc to kill his best friend Phillip for his Special Ceremony.  Nyroc is horrified and refuses.  Nyra than brutally does the job for him and asks Nyroc to lie and say that he did it.  Nyroc flees and is led by scrooms and a strange rabbit to live out his destiny.  It seems that he must find the legendary ember of Hoole and in doing so to confront dire wolves.  He knows that an owl named Otulissa is to help him.  The story ends with Nyroc deciding to fly off to Beyond the Beyond to carry out this quest.

 D-11 and P-9 are still asking for more of this series.  Lasky skillfully wove into the story an account of the young Nyroc molting.  We learned that barn owls have nineteen feathers on each wing.  The first ten going inward from the tip of their wings are the primaries.  Feathers eleven through nineteen are the secondaries.  We also learned where the covert feathers are and how important they are for landing.  It’s great to have a good story and learn some facts at the same time.