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Wild Wings

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  400 ratings  ·  108 reviews
The majestic Osprey is an endangered bird that hasn’t been seen in Scotland for years, so when Iona McNair locates an Osprey nest, she’s desperate to keep the bird safe from poachers. She shares her secret with her classmate Callum, and the two become friends as they work to save the Osprey they’ve named Isis. They’re able to get the bird tagged by a preservationist, but a ...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published April 19th 2011)
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This was a beautiful and touching story.

The blurb on the back made it seem vaguely fantasy-ish,but that wasn't the case. I may not have purchased this to read aloud to my little one had I known, so I'm truly glad of my mistake.

Basically, it is the story of two young Scottish children discovering an endangered osprey has mad their backyard its home. There is great joy in the story, and also great loss.

My daughter would beg for one more chapter after each one ended, forcing herself to stay awake
What did I like about this book ?...
1. The way that love of animals often seems to bring out the best in people, e.g. Callum and his friends.
2. The settings - Scotland, and the osprey's trek to Africa.
3. The truth that the internet can forge long distance friendships that are real (some people argue/ worry that time spent on the internet deprives children of "real" friendships)
4. The courage of the author in killing off a quirky lead character early in the book. Meningitis is a very abrupt de
There are two books in here... the first half is a Scottish Bridge to Terabithia for nature lovers... a bit of a hard sell to most of my urban readers. Then the second half becomes a much more accessible adventure about kids from different parts of the world coming together to save the day. (Don't get me wrong, kids don't always need to be spoonfed with high-interest reading. They can/should/will read 'slower' literature, but I do wish the author had worked the first part into a backstory or som ...more
This is one of the first children's books that has made me say, "here's a book whose protagonist does things I wished more real children did." I mean, Callum tracks an endangered animal on Google Earth AND makes a human friend overseas. He's also an example of a male protagonist who is both strong and kind, one I'm hoping will appeal to young boys. In addition, this book could get children interested in learning about life in both Scotland and Africa, as well as possibly finding pen pals in thos ...more
This was a touching book about a wonderful friendship between Callum and Iona, two 11 year olds living in Scotland and their love for a beautiful, majestic bird, an osprey. When tragedy strikes, Callum keeps his promise to protect the osprey and makes a new friend in the process.

The ending is neat, and there are several incredibly lucky coincidences, but the book is really well done and is sure to be enjoyed by my book club. I preferred this book to Gill Lewis' White Dolphin. The author brings t
Melissa Kasso
"People are like rivers...You've got to learn to look beneath the surface, to see what lies deeper in" (33-34). Wild Wings is a nominee for the 2014-15 intermediate category of the California Young Reader Medal. I thought this was a sweet book, but I don't think many intermediate level students will be drawn into reading it. Possibly it would be a better fit for junior high/middle grade readers. I had one fourth grade student last year who was interested in environmental causes and animals. She ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I was immediately drawn in by the portrayal of the budding friendship between the two main characters. I also learned a little about about life in Scotland, Osprey migration, and life in The Gambia. But mainly I enjoyed how the author portrayed that people can be cruel sometimes and kind sometimes. That people are not one dimensional and that they evolve over time and in trying situations. I was also taken by surprise at the turn of events. That doesn't happen to ...more
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
Have you ever seen a bird heading south for the winter and wondered exactly where it would end up? In this roller coaster of a story, Callum and his friend Iona have the rare chance to track the path of an osprey they spot in the woods on Callum’s family farm in Scotland. They name the bird Iris, and her travels unexpectedly connect Callum with new friends in another part of the world – and even reconnect him with his friends at home. Tragedy strikes, storms rage, and people learn what it means ...more
Callum McGregror strikes up an unlikely friendship with Iona McNair when the two of them find a pair of nesting osprey on his Scottish farm. The two agree to keep the birds a secret, but Callum also wants to keep his friendship a secret at school. The female bird, Isis, is injured and the two are forced to reveal the secret to help save her life. After observing the birds over the summer and watching a hatchling mature, Iona suddenly dies of meningitis.

Callum, grief stricken, isn't sure what to
This a wonderful middle-grade book about two children in Scotland who discover a secret osprey nest. If that sounds like the simple bare bones of a plot, be assured that it's not. Rich in themes of nature and our relationship with fellow creatures, the story also delves into bullying, friendship, computer tracking of birds, and how the internet can bring the entire world closer, as the main character begins trading emails with a girl in Africa.

As an avid birdwatcher and osprey lover (and I've se
Callum and Iona were not friends on the day Callum and his pals discovered her fishing with her bare hands on Callum's family farm in Scotland. But when Iona says she has a secret about the farm Callum's curiosity gets the best of him and he asks her to show him the secret when his friends are not around.

The secret is that there is an osprey nesting in a secluded area on the farm. This secret sparks a wonderful friendship as Callum and Iona start to spend most of their free time observing the m
I wanted to like this book, as I have a lot of students that are really into birds and I'd hoped it would be a great book to recommend to them. Unfortunately it was so poorly written that I can't give it more than one star. (Maybe 1.5 if GoodReads allowed half-stars.) No clues were given to indicate that several days, weeks, or even months had passed. A lovely character was introduced in the beginning of the book only to have her killed off a few chapters in, and while I understand that such tra ...more
Wild Wings
Gill Lewis, Illustrated by Yuta Onoda
It was all different now, now that Iona was here. Rob, Euan and Callum saw her, not knowing the secerets within Callum's Farm, that Iona saw. However, this is not just some ordinary seceret, this one hasn't been seen on Callum's Farm for over 100 years! Now Callum and Iona see it, flying above their heads, and their determination to keep their amazing discovery a seceret. It was all great until disaster strikes one after another, forcing Callum to
Damian Lawrence
Wild Wings by (Ms.) Gill Lewis is a children's adventure novel, which I read with my 9-year-old son as his bedtime reading over the last several weeks. We read it as a Kindle book on our Touchpad tablet, which helped immensely, as we were able to take little side excursions while reading - visiting websites such as Wikipedia and Google Maps and others for more information about the places in the story, for example, or hearing what the cry of an osprey sounds like.

We both really enjoyed the book,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eleven-year-old Callum and two friends notice a girl catching a fish in the stream at Callum’s farm. Iona, who has returned to the town, has a secret that she shares only with Callum: two ospreys have a nest in a tree at the farm. No ospreys have lived in this part of Scotland for over 100 years. Iona and Callum pledge to keep the birds a secret to protect them from people.
During school Iona is shunned, but later Callum joins her to watch the birds. They reluctantly reveal their secret to Callum
Scottish osprey make a treacherous journey twice a year, all the way to Scotland to mate and lay eggs and tend their chicks, then back, across the Pyrenees mountains and the Sahara desert, to spend the winters in Africa. As if that weren't enough, people pay thousands of dollars for an osprey egg, so even when they've completely their journey safely, there's no guarantee that someone won't steal the eggs before they're able to hatch. So when Callum McGregor's classmate, Iona McNair, tells him th ...more
Callum and Iona discover an osprey nesting on Callum's family's land. Together, they watch as he builds his aerie and his mate arrives. They spend the summer watching the osprey and keeping it a secret from others. When tragedy strikes, Callum is determined to take care of Iris, the female osprey, just as he's promised Iona. This promise leads Callum to a girl in Gambia who desperately needs an operation to save her legs.

This is so not what I expected when I started the story. I'm not a bird wa
The friendships in the book are just complicated enough and are altered by a secret shared by Iona and Callum. The Osprey is a fascinating bird and we learn a lot about it here. The drama of tracking the bird on their computer really brought it home how important it is to connect with nature and that kids really can make a difference. It might be good classroom read when studying endangered animals.
This is an unusual story, probably best suited to middle grade readers. The book kept my interest, and I could really imagine it being used in a classroom, with some complementary study of bird migration, endangered animals, geography, diverse cultures, etc. There were some parts of the book that struck me as technically awkward, enough so that I was pulled out of the story and became aware of how it was written. I doubt this would be an issue for a young reader, but it did lead me to lower my o ...more
Two children forge an unlikely friendship over a nest of ospreys. Callum's farm in Scotland is a wild and beautiful place, and it is now home to a creature that has not been spotted there in over a hundred years. Hamish, a worker at the nearby nature preserve, fits the female osprey, Iris, with a tracking device so the children can follow her migratory progress, which will cover thousands of miles. Then tragedy strikes, and Callum finds he has a new reason to care for and track Iris. Lewis is no ...more
Caroline (Cary)
Callum and Iona discover endangered ospreys on his family's farmland in Scotland and strive to keep the birds a secret for fear of poachers. Callum becomes estranged from his former friends because of his budding friendship with Iona, and the two of them form a unified, but lonely, front because of their secret. The story moves along in chronological order, bringing in currently relevant issues like protected species, poaching, and geography. The characters are well developed, young and old, and ...more
This is just a good story. It is about compassion for people and animals. The side trail of geography is excellent and would be good for a literature/geography/biology unit study. The author lists webcam sites at the back of the book (which are still viable) and other info for those who want to know more about these birds.
I read this in one sitting -rare for me - could be a Newbery contender this year. True friendships - between class and gender at this tender age - are rare and endearing to read about. A scruffy vagabond girl Iona discovers an osprey nest and is befriended by Callum, on whose land the nest is found. Iona and Callum are awed by the female they name Iris and begin to follow her migration to Africa. The story takes many unexpected turns though the ending is a bit too tidy and unrealistic as Callum ...more
Jennifer Barber
Wild Wings was a refreshing book. I read it with my son who is in 5th grade. It was nice to see him react to the situations in the book. He was sad in parts and very excited in parts. He cheered for the Ospreys. It was very engaging. It was nice to read a modern story with good uses of computers and the internet.
Suzanne Goldsmith
I'm surprised that I never knew of this book, as I also have written a middle grade (a bit more YA-ish) novel that revolves around the osprey journey. It's a lovely story, sweet and satisfying and engaging. I read it in two sittings. What other books has the osprey inspired?
Lynda Schmidt
I appreciated the friendship developed between 11 yr old Callum and a new girl who "suddenly" appears one day, catching a trout in the river with her bare hands no less. Their fascination with the osprey living on Callum' s farm, however, needed more explanation for me. It was too abrupt that Callum was willing to give up his two buddies in order to watch for the osprey - and later in the book, particularly when a chapter is told from the osprey' s perspective, the author lost me. Too many incon ...more
Madyson Ogdahl
I finished reading the book Wild Wings. I really enjoyed reading this book and I think you would too. My favorite part in the book is when Callum grabs the sneakers and jacket and goes in the dark forest to look for Iona, so he could give her the clothes. She was freezing. Then she said to meet him there in the morning. If you want to find out more you will have to read it for yourselves, which I think you should. There are secrets in this book, and that’s what I like about it. It kind of keep ...more
I enjoyed this book about two kids who forge a bond over their pact to protect the "secret" osprey's nest on Callum's land. I thought the friendships were very realistically portrayed, with Callum's relationship with his school chums being threatened by the secret he was compelled to keep from them. Lewis does a great job of showing the evolution of their relationships as Callum befriends the "weird" girl and then loses her.

Wild Wings also does a great job of intriguing the reader to find out mo
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