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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  201 ratings  ·  66 reviews
A young eagle learns to soar in Caldecott-winner Ed Young's newest work.

With beautiful, sweeping artwork and spare, lyrical text, Ed Young tells the story of a boy who finds an egg and gives it to a flock of chickens. When the egg hatches not a chick but an eaglet, the hens, the roosters, and the boy all band together to help the young bird fly. In this lovely story abou
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by Roaring Brook Press
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  201 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hook/ Ed Young/ 2009
Genre: fiction
Format: picture book
Plot Summary:A chick hatched by hens turns out to be an eaglet who must get help from a boy in learning how to fly.
Considerations: no red flags
Review Citation: School Library Journal, vol 55, issue 6, p102
Selection Source: Ed Young bibliography
Recommended age: 6-9
Whole And
Rising above our circumstance to reach our full potential despite what we see around us as the 'norm', this is Hook's predicament. An eaglet raised by a hen, they keep telling him he is not meant for earth because he can fly. But how is Hook to learn to fly when he keeps falling while trying?

A stunning book visually and inspirationally, asking us to look at where we might soar in our lives, where our children may have wings with which to fly.

Truly a masterpiece.
Olivia Slykhuis
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Didn't like this one much. Sparse text, but not as poetic and fancy as it thinks it is. The illustrations are sometimes hard to follow. Also the chicken inexplicably seems to talk. Plus, if a bird can't fly yet, taking it to higher and higher places to jump off of doesn't seem like a great strategy.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
he artwork in this story is magnificent. With simple wording, it is easy to let the illustrations tell the story. Hook was meant to soar and with the help of one boy, he is able to find his place in the sky.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too conceptual for my taste, would take a lot of explanation for a young reader, and not a fan of the chalk drawings.
Rebecca Caufman
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
A young boy finds an eagle egg and a chicken raises it until it is time to fly.
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-books
An eagle born to chickens has a native american help him to find his place in the world. The story is incredibly simple, but the illustrations are wonderfully evocative. I enjoyed this for its simplicity of presentation. Nicely done.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A little boy finds an abandoned egg and brings it to a group of hens to live with. The egg hatches and a little eagle is born; his mother hen tells him he is not meant for this earth. With the help of the hen and the little boy and a few falls, he finally soars to the top of the sky where he belongs. This book contains limited text with beautiful illustrations that tell the story.

The theme of this book is to have courage and persistence. As an abandoned eagle, it is very hard for th
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Aug 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picturebook, fiction
I was really disappointed in this title. First, I feel as if I've already read the story before in Fly eagle Fly written by Christopher Gregorowski and illustrated by Niki Daly. I also see what Ed Young was going for, but the lack of a lyrical text means that the pictures must take more of the weight but while small parts and pieces are beautiful, the overall pictures are just not that appealing. My biggest complaint is that the facing pages have the same continuous background but are usually se ...more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Caldecott Medalist Ed Young, author of Lon Po Po (Philomel, 1989) brings us the story of an abandoned egg found by a young boy. The boy presents the egg to a hen who assumes guardianship. The resulting dark, hook-beaked hatchling looks nothing like the other chicks. The hen names the chick Hook, and after observing the powerful claws and mannerisms of the chick, informs the fledgling it is “not meant for earth.” Following this, the hen and the young boy help the chick achieve its biological dest ...more
Kyle Turck
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hook is the story of an adopted eagle who happens to grow up with a family of chickens, only to realize that he was meant to fly. The story is quite simple and not overly unique, but the illustrations in this book are simply breathtaking and they really make the story worth looking into. The simplistic text in the story is also very refreshing in a way, since it allows the pictures to tell the story just as much as the words.

I would recommend this to very early elementary, kindergarten primarily
Nearly a wordless picture book, the story of a found egg, the caring of a mother hen who adopts the eaglet that emerges and a young boy is so lovely I turned the pages slowly, then started over more than once. The story entertains by giving voice to the mother, who says to her new one, “You are not meant for earth,” and showing the boy helping the eaglet try to fly again and again. I’ll leave the ending for you to see and celebrate when you read the book. The charcoal drawings are simply and bea ...more
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
The illustrations outrun the storyline of HOOK, showcasing Young's visual expressiveness with paint and maybe conte crayon on a warm brown paper. His leverage of the full space of each spread (including use of the the edge of the page and letting the negative space also speak), and his selection of intense blue and red, and supplemented with black and browns creates a striking telling. The transition from egg to eagle along a human trajectory also makes for effectively allowing the reader to fee ...more
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Blues and browns evoke the southwest desert where this ugly duckling-like story is set. Unlike the ugly duckling though, this family of fowl support the eagle who has hatched in their midst who keeps trying until he succeeds in majestically flying away. It doesn't bother me that eagles don't next in the southwest desert or that chickens & eagles are natural enemies. This is a lovely, spare story of growth, illustrated on textured colored ?homemade paper that suggests Navajo sand paintings. A ...more
Morgan Groth
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Literary Elements: For the style, the sentences are very short and to the point; the climax is when the reader finds out he is an eagle, not a chicken; the mood is inspiring. I liked that the illustrations were subtle and kind of abstract. The fact that the writing is short and to the point makes the reading go quickly, keeping the audience entertained. I think the moral is be who you are and what you're meant to be, even if that makes you different from the crowd.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
With beautiful, sweeping artwork and spare, lyrical text, Ed Young tells the story of a boy who finds an egg and gives it to a flock of chickens. When the egg hatches not a chick but an eaglet, the hens, the roosters, and the boy all band together to help the young bird fly. In this lovely story about friendship and dedication, the eaglet perseveres and leaves behind the dusty earth for endless pastel skies.
Sep 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Beautiful illustrations (cray-pas? I don't even know what those are called in reality, and I don't know how to spell the word I just wrote.)

Benjamin Franklin would have a fit, though: a Native American boy finds a lone egg and brings it home to hatch with the chickens. A bald eagle grows up wishing he could take to the sky, where he belongs. Majestic flight ensues, with the poor hens left scratching. What a noble bird! Humbug.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, birds
Very simple text pairs with pastel illustrations to tell the story of an abandoned egg that is cared for by a hen and grows up to be a bold eagle, resident of the sky.

I really liked how the text left spaces for the reader to fill with careful study of the illustrations, though it makes for a difficult title to read aloud. I like the exercise it encourages readers to get into in which they glean as much information from the illustrations as from the text that make up the story. PreK-2.
Sam Bloom
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love Ed Young, and I really liked this book a lot. It's an Ugly Duckling story that centers around a bald eagle chick being raised in a family of chickens. The illustrations are superb. I made the mistake of using it in my story time yesterday... sadly, it didn't fly (pun intended). Still, another great book from Young.
A young Native American boy finds an egg and gives it to a hen to care for. The egg hatches with a chick with a hook beak and the differences only get more pronounced as the "chick" continues to grow. Sparse text with absolutely gorgeous illustrations make this a perfect read aloud for beginning level ELLs and it is nice that it is about the bald eagle (a piece of Americana for new immigrants).
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
With a few poignant words and breathtaking illustrations, Ed Young wraps us in a story of compassion and perseverance. An orphaned egg is rescued by a boy and hatched by a mother hen. What is inside is "not meant for the earth." A story of honoring difference and fulfilling potential, this book could be used with students of all ages.
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is about an eagle who hatched with chickens. The chickens knew he did not belong. The encouraged him to fly and helped him along the way until one day he soared into the sky on his own. This is a very motivational book. It teaches kids that you may fail a few times, but you should keep on trying.
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I haven't yet rated all the hundreds of children's books I"ve read, but I had to add this one I recently discovered. I loved the short simple inspiring story of an eagle raised by chickens who helped it discover what it could really do- fly high in the sky. Mikaela was inspired to figure out what she does best. This is one I would like to own.
Amy Adams
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
What a beautiful book! The illustrations (chalk, I think) are warm and inviting. The words are few, but the story is full. I think kids would be attracted to this one because it's kind of a different take on The Ugly Duckling, but this story is filled with much more hope, and I like the ending even better.
Sep 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Spare in in text, with mere phrases per page, this picture book shares the story of an orphan egg, adopted by a hen, that hatches into something "not meant for earth." The hatchling is named Hook and with help from a Native American boy and the hen and her chicks, Hook finds his true home. The beautiful illustrations are done partly in chalk, against a speckled coffee-colored background.
Jul 23, 2009 rated it liked it
The Ugly Duckling meets Hawk, I'm Your Brother with sparse esoteric text and chalk illustrations.
Michael Fitzgerald
Mar 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
"Lyrical" text? No.

Dull pretend "sentences" like "Kicking up a storm. Looking back." and "A higher place." - it reads like someone taking notes. Not overly impressed with the story concept either. The pictures are OK, but this needed an editor to step in and demand that the author actually do some work.
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Love the idea of this story more than the actual execution.

The art is beautiful (he is a Caldecott Medal winner).

There just doesn't seem to be quite ... enough for a great story. Not enough illustration (backgrounds are quite sparse) or enough text (less than 10 words on most of the pages).
Alicia Evans
The book has simple language that is easy to read but not all the sentences are complete sentences, so much so that it's very noticeable as it's read. I doesn't necessarily feel like a strong book for helping children develop language, though the pictures are beautiful and the story is interesting.
Alyssa Carosella
This story was a little boring to me and i think it is because the illustrations are a little harder to understand to me and there are not a lot of words to read from. Although you can make out what is going on throughout the story because of the illustrations i just feel that they could have been a little better than what they were.
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Ed Young is the illustrator of more than eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. Among his books is the Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po, which he both wrote and illustrated. He says that his work is inspired by the philosophy of Chinese painting. He lives in Westchester County, New York.