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Owls in the Family

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,815 ratings  ·  310 reviews
Farley Mowat's funniest book tells the adventures of Wol and Weeps, two owls from Saskatchewan who shape up a whole neighbourhood, turn a house topsy-turvy, and outsmart Mutt, the dog hero of The Dog Who Wouldn't Be. Wol brings dead skunks to the family dinner table and terrorizes the minister, the postman, and the French teacher. Weeps is a comical bird, afraid of everyth ...more
Paperback, 91 pages
Published May 1996 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1962)
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Scott Shamblin Owls in the Family:
Owls in the Family is about a boy named Billy who finds a baby owl in an old abandoned nest. He brings him home and names him for…more
Owls in the Family:
Owls in the Family is about a boy named Billy who finds a baby owl in an old abandoned nest. He brings him home and names him for Christopher Robin’s owl, Wol. Wol tries to make friends with the gophers, who think owls are natural enemies and he outsmarts Mutt the family dog.
When Mutt was eating Wol would go to the other side of the house and make a racket. Mutt would go to the other side of the house but Wol had already flown over and was eating Mutt’s dinner.
If you like hilarity and adventure this book is for you!
Heather There are a fair amount of outdated verbiage and attitudes in this book, which I did not notice when I read the book as a child in the 70’s, but…moreThere are a fair amount of outdated verbiage and attitudes in this book, which I did not notice when I read the book as a child in the 70’s, but certainly do now. Times have changed, and thankfully attitudes and language have changed too. I found equally disturbing the “last one in is a Dutchman” taunt, along with the callous way they ate Crow’s eggs and shot birds for really no reason. Even keeping wild animals at home is not something that any animal lover or conservationist would advocate these days. I look at it as a good discussion point about why those things are now seen as hurtful. The relationship with the Owls is fantastic, but another point of discussion could be around whether it was fair to the Owls to relocate them with another owner after they had been conditioned to Billy and his family for three years!(less)

Community Reviews

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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,815 ratings  ·  310 reviews

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Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Milos & Bronte & Scoutie & Noah
I don't know how true these memories are, but they are my memories, so they are true enough for this. Around 34 or 35 years ago, I went into my elementary school library and talked to Mrs. Dogleash (surely Mrs. Dalgliesh, like the famous Liverpool footballer and manager, but we always thought of her as Dogleash). I needed a book. She gave me Owls in the Family.

I remember the orange-gold shag carpet of my bedroom where I sat and read in the evening. I remember a flashlight and my crocheted blank
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just love this book. It goes back in a time when boys could roam and explore. This boy captures two owls and they live at home with him! It is quite hilarious! I also love that it is a true story
I remembered loving this book from when I was a kid! My sister's favorite animals were owls, so we were in awe of Farley's family who had two pet owls. After looking around for this book in the library, I finally ordered it off Amazon. It was so worth it! It was a quick read of 3 sittings and all three of my kids loved it and we all laughed and laughed. I've liked most of Farley Mowatt's books, but I've never read his most famous book: Never Cry Wolf. Someday I'll get to that.
Mowat's Owl story is, in my memory, a quick read sequel to Mutt's story. Decades after first reading it, the memory of the hilarious scene with the garage mechanic, the owls and goggled dog in the Mowat family car's rumble seat still brings a smile ... If you have an interest in owls, I suggest adding this to your TBR.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
Read-aloud. Now we wish we had an owl for a pet.
Beth Hollmann
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to my son, who is 8, for a book report he needed to do for school. I'd heard the book recommended often throughout my years of homeschooling, but never gotten around to actually reading it. I'm so glad I did! We both thoroughly enjoyed it. My son, in particular, enjoyed reading about boys who love the outdoors, like he does (although he has much less accessibility to wild space than they did). The book tells how Billy, the main character, and his friends Bruce and Murray, come a ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
This one - broke my heart. A story of two Eagle owls (they're Big can fly off with a cat/dog), brought up by a boy in a north Canadian town. When the family have to move to the city, they take the owls a long way into the wild to release them more than 200 km away and guess what, one flies back to his home.
That's not the only heartbreak, one of the owls is rescued from "boys" torturing it - and the other stronger one literally takes the shocked baby under his wing.
Farley Mowat, animal lover, co
Lisa  Reads
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story about kids being the way kids were meant to be! Having adventures outside, off on their own, discovering what it is to live! And it had not one, but two, owls in the story all based on real life! I really enjoyed my Finer Books Club "vacation" book! And to top it all off, it had illustrations!
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
I struggled between three and four stars on this one. It's an interesting tale, but for the most part, it's one of those children's books where each chapter is a separate adventure, and that's generally not my cup of tea. I ultimately went with four stars regardless since this book is just so readable and entertaining too.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is so much fun to read about his owls. If you like them do read it. It is easily read in one day and a few laughs.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
9/10 - So good! One of our favorite readalouds of the summer. Full review here:
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: battle-books
This book made me miss my dad. It's the true story of a boy who raises two owls and the various adventures they have together. It both reminded me of him, and reminded me how much he enjoyed animal stories. I love that this book is still on our library's Battle of the Books list. It is so not politically correct and I loved for that. I loved that the father claimed he was going to give his son a whopping, that they dressed the owls in doll clothes for a pet parade, that the father guns down as m ...more
Candice Putnam
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this book to a grade 4/5 class — by far my favourite chapter book read-aloud experience ever! We’ve been reading one chapter each week during library class for the past couple of months, and it quickly became something that the students, their teacher, and I looked forward to each week. We laughed so much throughout the entire book and were totally engrossed in every crazy, exciting chapter. At the end of the book, they all said “This can’t be the end! Is there a sequel?!” ...more
Lilac Mohr
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds
This was such an entertaining family read-aloud. My children (ages 5 and 7) were laughing so hard at the owls' antics! I highly recommend this charming book.

Just a note that the book may not be suitable for extra-sensitive children since some animals (baby owls, cats, crows) die.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this several years ago, and I remember liking it. I read it with a group of kids when I was working as a paraeducator.
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ellie, jacob, mom
Jacob's choice. Funny story about the antics of two owls. Great story for kids to see what fun they can have in nature and with pets. We loved it.
A wonderful book! We read it aloud as a family and it was a favorite! We laughed a lot and enjoyed every bit of this heart-warming story.
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya, fiction
This little book is a hoot.
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My children and I LOVED this book! Very funny and we learned a lot about owls and various other animals. Highly recommend it! :)
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was about the perfect read aloud book for our family at this point in our story. The tales are perfect, and we would have thoroughly enjoyed this account of a boy in Saskatoon all on its own, as my two oldest already had, but the fact we are about to move to Saskatchewan made it all the more sweet. The poplars, the prairie, the owls; my children can envision themselves loving this next season of life. Thank you, Farley Mowat. We cannot wait to fall in love with Saskatchewan, too.
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
If I was a kid reading this I'd give it more stars, although kids today may take umbrage at the same parts I did: steeling wild animals and their eggs and killing wild animals for fun... Aside from those parts it was a fun read.
Emily Suddath
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a hilarious little book. What made it better is I found out it was based on the author’s childhood—wow, what a childhood! This was part of my son’s first grade read-aloud reading, but as an adult I was literally laughing out loud at the escapades. ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: veda
This book was hilarious. I would have loved it if it were set anywhere, but who doesn't love getting to say Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!?
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, quick, easy read. Farley Mowat, I hope I spelled that right, is like my go to author when I don't have a book to read, and this was just one of those books.
Kathleen Dixon
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owls, children-s
What a thoroughly delightful book.

I do some part-time work in a bookshop, and an elderly fellow came in asking if we had any books by Farley Mowat, "Owls in the Family" in particular. We didn't. Nor did any of our NZ distributors have it on their lists. So I did some looking around on the net and found a place to order it from.

Now, I've been collecting owls as long as I can remember - wait a moment, that's an elaboration of the facts. I've been collecting owls, probably since I began working (in
❀ Susan G
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads
My son and I finished a Canadian classic today. I am trying to read more Canadian content this year and his siblings had all recommended this story. Owls in the Family was a great book to read together and the author shared some of his own experiences keeping wild animals as pets in this story. The tale is about two great horned owls, Wol and Weep, who were rescued and began living with a family in Saskatoon.

Wol was orphaned after a big storm destroyed his nest. The boys rescued him and he quick
Kelly Wagner
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Friends gave this to me years ago, and I finally got to reading it during my recover-from-surgery weeks spent sitting around. This is one of Mowat's early books, written before "Never Cry Wolf" (the one he's most famous for.) It's more or less a juvenile, written from the point of view of a boy of somewhere between 10 and 13 and meant to appeal to boys that age. However, in the 21st century, I doubt that vision of boyhood would be at all recognizable to boys that age - even in rural areas, child ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Description: So. Supposing you lived in a town on the Canadian prairie. Then supposing you had a chance to take home a couple of orphaned great horned owls. Then, supposing said owls grew to full size, liked to nibble on people's ears, teased your dog, fought with skunks (yup! during dinner!), followed you to school, climbed trees... and couldn't fly. What a summer that would be! It's unpredictable. It's funny. And it's all true!

Concerns: None.

Summary: Maybe my personality has biased my outlook,
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Re-read as a tribute to Farley Mowat on the day that he died. I loved this book as a child and it holds up surprisingly well. Mowat is a gifted and talented writer, and his work is both simple and descriptive. I also loved the references to Saskatoon- he refers to the railroad bridge and Spadina. I just learned that Farley Mowat had a column in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix when he was 13 years old.

When I was small, I was convinced that this book was a true story. I only discovered last night that
Sep 20, 2009 rated it liked it
So, this book is cute and easy to read. The problem I had with it was it's supposed to be humorous, but I found it a little bit sad. I don't know if I'm just weird that way or what, but other people would probaby enjoy it!
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. boy finds two owls, he found one in oil drum [s] 4 20 Oct 22, 2014 11:40AM  
Friends with Books: Owls in the Family 13 13 Jan 30, 2013 04:43PM  
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Farley McGill Mowat was a conservationist and one of Canada's most widely-read authors.
Many of his most popular works have been memoirs of his childhood, his war service, and his work as a naturalist. His works have been translated into 52 languages and he has sold more than 14 million books.
Mowat studied biology at the University of Toronto. During a field trip to the Arctic, Mowat became outrag