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Incident at Hawk's Hill (Hawk's Hill #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,292 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Six-year-old Ben is very small for his age, and gets along better with animals than people. One June day in 1870, Ben wanders away from his home on Hawk's Hill and disappears into the waving prairie grass. This is the story of how a shy, lonely boy survives for months in the wilds and forges a bond with a female badger. ALA Notable Book. Newbery Honor Book.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published 1971)
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Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
For me, this is the best book by Eckert. He has not only captured the world as seen from the point of view of toddler Ben, but also from the point of view of the badger!!

Being a biologist, he has made the scene involving the badger completely realistic in all details, including the emotions of the badger as reflected through her actions.

The interactions between Ben and the badger is appropriately progressive from the beginning, starting with a lack of trust to a growth of trust. Both do the ri
The Shayne-Train
The little one and I both highly enjoyed this story. I had read it myself back when I was her age, and remembered only that I thought it was 'gnarly.' (Leave me alone, man, it was the mid-eighties.)

It's a well-written and excellently-paced story of survival, acceptance, and perseverance. And, now that I read it with adult eyes, it may be the first novel I'd ever read that had an autistic protagonist.

Did I cry at the end? Maybe. Hey, shut up, my daughter did, too.
Apr 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
My reading group just finished this book today. It's high praise when a fifth grader hands you the book and says, "Best book ever." with eyes shining. It's the (possibly) true story of a young boy who wanders away from home and bonds with a badger in the wild. The author writes about the animals and humans in a very realistic way. And the ending, while kind of manipulative, tugs at you even after you've finished the book. It will be on my class reading list every year.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a young boy who is able to copy animal sounds and then one day gets lost in the woods and it starts to storm so he seeks shelter in a badger hole then soon the badger comes back soon they develop a friendship that will be put to the test.
I loved this book because every thing was described so well that you would think that you were there!
I learned that true long lasting friendship is a road with a lot of hardships and happiness.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris Irvin
Oct 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a great book. Very detailed. I may have learned more than I ever wanted to know about badgers, but I did fall in love with little Ben and his adopted badger-mom.

As a side note, it's very interesting to see the differences in children's literature since this book was published (1972) and now. This book by today's standards would be very slow and boring, with not much action. It's really too bad that our children are growing up on Captain Underpants instead of quality books like this one.
Cliff Bathke
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-summaries
1.Six-year-old Ben is very small for his age, and gets along better with animals than people. One June day in 1870, Ben wanders away from his home on Hawk's Hill and disappears into the waving prairie grass. This is the story of how a shy, lonely boy survives for months in the wilds and forges a bond with a female badger.
2. This book would be a good read for 3rd-5th grade
3. I would use this book when discussing wildlife or with a history lesson on life before the 1900's.
4. All students would ben
This might be the best book you never read. Maybe you saw the movie during primary school. Maybe someone read it to you when you were young and you have this vague recollection of a story about a little boy and a badger... but you can't quite recall...

I originally read Incident at Hawk's Hill when I was eight and loved it. It inspired my love of nature. It's the first book that evoked emotion from me, anger, fear, grief, joy. Of course, as a kid I believed that it was all true and hoped that I c
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
We picked this book because Joshua is writing his 3rd grade Mammal Report on badgers. In this true story, a 6 year old boy wanders away from home and gets lost on the prairie in 1870. A mother badger who just lost her babies finds the boy and cares for him for 2 months until he is found. We learned all we ever wanted to know about badgers (and much more). Joshua was mesmerized by the story and all the details of nature. Rachel liked the story line but wasn't as interested in all the badger detai ...more
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First re-read of this since I was a kid. I loved it with my whole heart then, and was relieved to find that I still love it.

This story, allegedly based on a true incident, is about a boy who lives with a badger for a period of time. The natural history details are glorious- everything you ever wanted to know about badgers, their habits, their diets, and their vocalizations! The story itself is good, though a touch on the melodramatic side.

Recommended for natural history people and animal lovers
Susan Katz
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This book brought to mind Walt Whitman's "Sometimes I think I could turn and live with animals." It's lovely to know that the story's based on a true incident of a badger caring for a boy. Here the author develops that intriguing germ of an idea into a book that also speaks about acceptance and understanding of those who don't conform to expected norms and about the power of love to bridge distances and bring healing to a troubled family. Especially recommended for animal and nature lovers.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you just wanna live with badgers.

Read this as a child. Can't remember much, other than wanting to hang out with badgers. Little me couldn't get enough of these types of books.
Noah V.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Book was incredible...highly recommend. Left me hanging at the end which was really tough to sleep after reading this.
Stacy M. Patton
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
I read this book to my 8 year old son who struggles to pay attention and listen to read a louds. He does however love books about animals. This book came up in my good reads feed and since it is a Newberry Honor Winner, I decided to read it. I was surprised my library didn’t have it so I bought this book. It turned out to be a great investment. This is one of those books that is equally entertaining to both child and adult. I found this book to be fascinating about the badger who is a main chara ...more
Mazzou B
I can't believe I only just now read this book! Growing up, I loved reading stories about nature especially if it was a true tale! This one is fascinating. The writing quality is excellent. There are a few incidents where God's name is taken in vain. No other swear words. I recommend this book for lovers of nature and young readers studying animals! There is a detailed introduction to badgers in this book!
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A boy small for his age , who indeed loves animals, goes missing. Ben lives with badger, who fiercely protects him. The young boy becomes as a badger with only those instincts, he doesn't even recognize his brother when he is found. The boy lives between the lives of humans and the lives of badgers, two worlds , one boy. A heart wrenching story as a little boy has to bury his best friend and becomes a man!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, even the grisly fight scenes which usually repulse me. The author's descriptions, especially of the natural world, are so detailed and fascinating that I felt like I was there. There is enough suspense for those who like action. Due to violence, I recommend it to high school and adults only. [After I wrote this I found out this book was originally published as an adult novel and that later it became the basis for a Disney TV movie.]
A captivating book based on a true occurrence of a 6 year boy wandering away from home and living in the wild for 2 months and survived only because a badger rescued him. On the boy's behalf he was very attuned to nature and spent hours and hours watching animals, imitating both body movements and sounds. Beautifully written. Have a tissue by your side as you read.
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
You've got to be a nature lover to enjoy this rather eccentric tale of a boy adopted by a badger. The story takes place in Canada and is full of rich descriptions of the landscape, flora and fauna. The novel starts off rather slow but becomes quite intriguing at the end. This novel might appeal to, mostly, boys that identify with being different.
Marylou Dickson
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was my favourite book as a child; I read it at least four times. It's heart-warming and the relationship described between the badger and the boy is remarkable.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: little-books
Such a good story!
Carie Steele
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites from elementary school
Aurélie Knit & Read
J'ai trouvé l'intrigue sympa, d'autant qu'elle s'inspire d'une histoire vraie. En revanche, je ne recommanderais pas ce livre à des enfants de 8 ans, il y a beaucoup trop de passages violents.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good little story. Read it to a group of kids and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-history
Worldview: Universally Acceptable

Read Aloud - 6 yrs +
Independent Reader - 9 yrs +

Location - Winnipeg, Red River, Manitoba
Time Period - 1870

This is an uplifting, touching story about a small boy who becomes lost in the prairies near Winnipeg. He has a natural affinity to animals and survives two months alone through his friendship with a badger. There is a wealth of naturalistic information presented in this book. The habits of badgers and beautiful descriptions of the prairie
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The youngest of four, Ben MacDonald is the strangest compared to his older brother and sisters. Ben’s father, William MacDonald wonders why his own son runs away from him. He wonders and asks his wife Ester, and she says that Ben needs more attention. The MacDonald family has the worst neighbor, George Burton. The family thinks he is strange but in a bad way. He has a dog Lobo who follows him. George Burton is a trapper, he traps animals in a very cruel way, and he lets them suffer. One day Ben ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal, children
This book was well written and I got caught up in the story. It made me interested in badger behavior, although it did have some sad moments. All in all, an enjoyable read.
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a book on naturalism and human nature, this offers a good solid read. The life of birds, bugs, and badgers makes for fascinating plot and themes. The villain is quite blustering but cowardly. There are touching family scenes of a distant father clumsily attempting to close the gap between himself and his animal-centric son, and a mother tries to tell her husband why it's important to love and understand the boy (rather than shout at him).
I do wish that the only church scene didn't feature sm
This 1972 Newberry Award winner is based on a true story that was to have taken place in 1870. The McDonald's live at Hawk's Hill, remote and rugged country. The youngest member of the family, Ben is a lover of animals and nature. He doesn't speak much but he can mimic the sound of most any bird or beast. Ben, at six, is small for his age, he hasn't started school yet and his father has little time for his nonsense.

His mother says Ben will come around, it's just going to take some patience. They
EOL Juv Staff
Although this book received a Newbery Honor when it was published, you probably haven’t heard of it. The cover most likely won’t convince you to pick it up. Even the introduction might persuade you that it’s too slow to finish. But once you’ve gotten into the story, you may have a hard time putting it down until you’ve blown all the way through the last page.

Ben is a boy who doesn’t do well with people. This worries his family, especially his father, who simply cannot understand why his youngest
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Allan W. Eckert was an American historian, historical novelist, and naturalist.

Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, but had been a long-time resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, near where he attended college. As a young man, he hitch-hiked around the United States, living off the land and learning about wildlife. He began writing about nature and American hi
More about Allan W. Eckert

Other books in the series

Hawk's Hill (2 books)
  • Return to Hawk's Hill: Sequel to the Newbery Honor-Winning Incident at Hawk's Hill

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