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The Good Hawk

(Shadow Skye #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  97 reviews
In a mythic Scotland, two unlikely heroes must make a dangerous journey to save their people.

Agatha is a Hawk, brave and fierce, who protects her people by patrolling the high walls of their island home. She is proud of her job, though some in her clan whisper that it is meant to keep her out of the way because of the condition she was born with. Jaime, thoughtful and
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Walker Books US
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Whispering Stories
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The Good Hawk is a YA historical book set in the days when Clans ruled parts of the world. The book opens with fifteen-year-old Agatha who has Down Syndrome. She lives at the north of the Isle of Skye with her clan, Clann-a-Tuath and her role in the clan is that she is a Hawk, they guard the wall to the enclave and watch for anyone coming to attack them.

We then meet fifteen-year-old Jaime who is an Angler, although not a very capable one as he doesnt
Robin Stevens
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has nothing to do with hawks! I feel this is an important disclaimer as I assumed from the cover and title that it was about animals. It's actually a magic-tinged adventure set in a Scotland of the far past, where two children have to travel across the country to save their kidnapped clan. It's brutally dark and scary in places, and it also has a plague plot that feels creepily relevant in 2020 - I thought it was very well written and exciting, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk is set in the Isle of Skye. Agatha is a hawk once made a plan and climb up the wall . The waves went on Agatha's legs and her face , then the waves got bigger and she couldn't hold on anymore and fell. You stupid girl. Lucky one of the Hawks see her and saved her.

Jamie is a reluctant Angler and is afraid of the sea, with all that deep dark water, his mind rattles of all the possibilities that could be lurking beneath the surface like a giant squid, killer rays .

I always love to
Holly Jackson
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Good Hawk is an incredibly special and important book and I was so genuinely excited to keep diving back into this fantastical world. Elliott is a master in characterisation and voice; I fell in love with Agatha after just two sentences in her head and then I struggled to put the book down because I just HAD to know what would happen to her and Jaime. Not only is this a heart-warming story about friendship and courage and what it means to truly be a hero, the plot is so gripping and ...more
I received this book from Harper Collins in exchange for my honest review.

To start with the positives, I was elated to find a book where the main character has down syndrome. I think it's incredibly amazing that Joseph Elliott has embraced all walks of life in this book, and has given them a chance to shine in their own light. Having Agatha as the main character - a hero when even her own clan does not appreciate her is powerful. She has a strong moral compass that leads her to always do the
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a genuinely exciting book! I have about twenty pages left to read and I'm trying my best to slow myself down, because it's so good and I don't want it to end! The author described it as "Game of Thrones for kids" at a recent event. I'm one of the few people on the planet who hasn't seen or read Games of Thrones (I know!) so I can't comment on that, but what I do know is that it's filled with a cast of weird and wonderful characters who have the most incredible adventures and that I can't ...more
Ben Oliver
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a unique and brilliant book this is! Each character's voice was so beautifully written, none more so than Agatha (a soon to be iconic character in my opinion).

The story is set on the isle of Skye in a mythic era where clans live and battle, we follow Agatha a "Hawk" whose job it is to walk the walls that surround the home of her clan. We also follow Jaime a reluctant Angler and even more reluctant groom! Jaime and Agatha are thrust into action as their clan are brutally attacked.

This book
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disability, 2020
I was so incredibly excited when I first heard about The Good Hawk. Not only is it a middle-grade fantasy set in Scotland, but it also features a main character with Down Syndrome. I added it to my disability release masterlist and to my own TBR instantly.

I want to preface this by saying I cant comment on the representation of Down Syndrome itselfI dont have any experience with it so I dont know whether certain situations are representative or not. I did, however, read this through my own
Em Jay
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
So, to put it in simple terms, THE GOOD HAWK is a book that will make you feel things.

(Thank you, you say. That is not helpful.)

It follows the story of Jaime, an anxious boy with a heavy role to play in his clan, and Agatha, a girl with Down Syndrome and an extraordinary gift that enables her to communicate with animals. When their clan is betrayed and captured by enemy forces, they set out together on a rescue mission. But this mission takes them to mainland Scotia, where the people have been
Pauline Zander
Reading Rush challenge 1 finished!

Honestly, I dont really know how I feel about this book, so Im going with 2.5 stars.

I really like that its a book with representation of Down Syndrome. And I do understand that its not mentioned in the book, as its likely the clan doesnt know the name for it. I just didnt like that its something you have to assume from the way Agatha is described? I knew before I read this book that there was a character with Down Syndrome, so then it makes sense who it is.
Agatha is a good hawk! In mythical Scotland, a hawk is like a sentinel. They watch for intruders. Agatha is 15 years old with Downs Syndrome and has a special talent. She can communicate with animals, and they with her. When the Norsemen invade her village and take her clan as slaves, Agatha and Jayme (an angler forced to marry outside of his clan) are the only two to escape death or abduction. They set across the mainland to Norway in an attempt to rescue them. Along the way, their friendship ...more
 Gabriele | QueerBookdom
ARC provided by Candlewick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliot is the compelling start to a trilogy set in a mythic Scotland.

It revolves around two members of the Clann a Tuath, set on the island of Skye. Agatha is a Hawk, a sentinel, considered incapable because of her birth condition, and Jaime is an Angler, an anxious teen who isnt fond of the sea, chosen by the clans elders for a long-unneeded ritual. Unexpectedly, the clan is kidnapped by the
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2020
The fires burned for many months, filling the sky with thick red smoke. They stayed north for over a year, until the sky returned to normal. When they came back down, everyone was dead.

Agatha and Jaime are part of Clan-a-Tuath on the Isle of Skye. Agatha is a Hawk, someone who patrols the sea wall, a job she takes a lot of pride in despite the people who question her being there because of the condition she was born with. Jaime in an Angler, essentially someone who goes out fishing, and the
Amie's Book Reviews
What a rare gem is THE GOOD HAWK. The two protagonists are unlikely heroes. They know they have face their fears and use any and all gifts they may have to survive in this unique work of Dystopian Fiction.

Agatha has Down Syndrome (in the book there is no official diagnosis, but it is obvious to informed readers.) When was the last time you read a book, or even a short story, where the protagonist is a person with a "DisABILITY?"

Kudos to Author Joseph Elliott for
I received a copy in the Jan 2020 Book Box Club box (paid for myself)

What I say: I received The Good Hawk as part of the January 2020 Book Box Club Deadly Secrets box. Deadly secrets is a perfect way to describe the book because it's full of both! Think of a fictional version of the Isle of Skye, set in a past where clans are at war and magic is real (or is it?), and you're still not even close to covering everything in the story.

Agatha is tolerated by her clan (just) and has to hide her true
Feb 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 I enjoyed reading this book but it wasn't anything amazing or that blew me away. I liked Agatha's voice because it made sense for her voice to be exactly as it was. My struggle was that Jaime's voice was TOO similar to Agatha's and he has no reason to be that similar. At times I couldn't tell it was his chapter because it sounded too close to Agatha. Which meant I basically could've done without Jaime since he felt just there for the use of "not being Agatha" but nothing beyond that. And a ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a solid debut and mostly enjoyable read. I definitely liked the setting and the u Kaye story. While I love that one of the POV being told is from a person who is disabled its just so hard to tell if its done well. Meaning I cant nor do I want to say it is or isnt bc Im not in that persons shoes nor is the author so who really knows. I do feel that some of the vocabulary was an odd choice at times, especially when he choose to use contemporary language when other times he used old Gaelic ...more
Shannon McLean
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved how different this book felt than a lot of other YA fantasy novels. Having one of the heroes have Down Syndrome, and getting to see the world through her POV and voice, was eye-opening. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but otherwise this was a great book with two unique points of view. I look forward to the next one!
Looking forward to The Broken Raven!

for the author/editor:
* page 73: I presume Lileas has already eaten her piece. Page 77: 'What's your name' I ask, struck by the absurdety that I'm married to someone and don't even know what she's called. 'Lileas,' she says.
* If Milkwort was in his usually place in Agatha's pocket he would have panicked big time when the viper crawled over her.
Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
Rating: 4.5 stars

I wasnt sure what to make of things in the beginning, but that ended up being really good! So different from anything Ive read in a while, truly thrilling at times, plus I loved the inclusion of many types of diversity. Im looking forward to book 2, as I have so many questions still...
Elliotts debut novel for children stars a protagonist with a condition that goes unnamed in her world, but which is pretty clearly Downs syndrome. In an alt-Scotland, Agatha is a Hawk: her job is to guard the sea wall that keeps her clan isolated and safe on the Isle of Skye. When she makes an honest, but dreadful, mistake, its held up as proof of her unfitness for work, and shes stripped of her duties. Meanwhile, Jaime has a different problem: hes been assigned a job as an Angler, a deep-sea ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
FABULOUS! This is a first book and the first of a planned trilogy. I was asked to read this for a library adoption and I would be pleased to see it added to the collection. This author bring is a terrific fantasy with a twist. One of the main characters has special needs with autistic qualities. It is a quick read and worth every second to begin this multiple book journey.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book, and honestly chose it because the cover looked cool and it had the word "hawk" in it (yes, really; my obsession for birds knows no limits). When I first started reading, I'll admit my heart sank a bit; I couldn't STAND the writing style of the first chapter, and thought it was a huge downgrade from the elegance of the last book I read. After choosing to stick with it anyways, I learned that Agatha, the brave and spunky female lead, has ...more
The Good Hawk is a historical fantasy set in mythic Scotland. Agatha and Jaime are members of the Clann a Tuath from Skye island. Agatha is a Hawk and spends her days on the wall as a lookout for any possible invaders. Jamie is an Angler who hates the sea. He'd always wanted to be a Wasp and make boats, but the enclave doesn't get to choose their profession. Instead, it's unlawful to do anything else then what they've been assigned. For generations, marrying was also outlawed, but Jamie is due ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, arc, got-in-2018
I received an ARC of this book via Librarything's Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

In short, pretty good read but I don't find myself too interested in reading the sequel (felt it could have ended as a standalone just fine). It does some things that I definitely am giving thumbs up for, but also other things that I just was frustrated with.

I enjoyed the main plot in general, some things I was ''meh'' about (not including what I will write below). It was definitely
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Elliotts The Good Hawk is an engaging YA fantasy novel with a rich variety of characters, a plot that kept me guessing right up until the heart-stopping final few pages, and honest, likelike representation of disabled characters and characters living with mental health problems. The combination is, if I havent gushed enough, really rich and exciting, and the message it sends that being a hero has everything to do with your values, beliefs and traits as a person and nothing to do with ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, rc20
really good. A bit slow at the start, perhaps, but the middle hundred pages, especially, just whizzed by.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk is the first book Ive ever read that features a main character with Down syndrome, Agatha. This brings a whole new dimension to the story, even if the first chapter was a bit confusing to read at first. You do get used to this particular writing style though as it continues on throughout and marks Agahtas PoV, as opposed to Jaimes. This proves that the author knows what he is writing about, at least in my opinion. Another important topic that is touched on is sexuality and how its ...more
What an amazing story and start to a trilogy with a brilliant set of lead characters. Agatha is a Hawk, an important position in her clan as she helps to patrol the sea walls looking out for any potential dangers. Although she feels like shes doing a good, others in her clan dont, and one day, when a boat is sighted in the distance, Agatha makes a terrible mistake.

I have really enjoyed reading this book and it was easy to get into right away. Set in a sort of alternate version of historical
Julie (Bookish.Intoxication)
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Already I am enjoying the simplicity of the language, it fits the feel of the book so well. Agatha speaks as an 15 year old girl fast and full of tangents and short sentences. It feels authentic, not like an adult trying to write as a child would speak.

I'm excited to learn more about how the Island of Skye works, how the children are sorted into their work details, how the clans work. But most of all, I want to know more about Agatha, about the way she was born, about her amazing affinity with
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Joseph Elliott is a writer, teacher, and actor known for his work in childrens television. The Good Hawk is his first book. He lives in London. ...more

Other books in the series

Shadow Skye (3 books)
  • The Broken Raven (Shadow Skye, #2)
  • Untitled (Shadow Skye, #3)

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