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Book Review: There's an Owl in the Shower

June 23, 2014

There's an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George
From Miss Sarah at Bellville

Miss Sarah says, "I came across the book There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George a few years ago when looking for a new author to discuss with the fourth graders of Bellville Elementary. Jean Craighead George is probably most famous for writing Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain. She grew up in a naturalist home and that influence is reflected in her writing. Jean has had 173 wild animals live with her throughout her life. Another fun fact about Jean Craighead George is that her first pet was a turkey vulture!

"There’s an Owl in the Shower was inspired by Jean’s experience when her children were young and had a pet screech owl named Yammer who watched television and took showers. Her son, Craig, put a sign up that read 'Please remove the owl after showering.'

"In the book, a boy named Borden is mad at spotted owls because his dad lost his job due to their near extinction. While trying to shoot a spotted owl, Borden finds an owlet and takes it home. He believes it is a barred owl since he does not see any spots. Borden’s dad, Leon, gets into a fight at the local gas station with Mr. James, an ecologist and science teacher at the high school. The police show up and tells them both to pay a fine or go to court.

"Borden’s dad lets Borden help the owl which he names Bardy so Leon can take it to court and hopefully, the judge will forgive him. Leon takes care of Bardy by catching him mice and watching television with him. Leon and Borden learn more about the owl from Borden’s sister, Sally, who is in the ecology club at school led by Mr. James. Leon keeps saying over and over that once his court date is over he will wring Bardy’s neck. After a few days, Leon is taking a shower when Bardy gets in the shower too. Bardy starts showering with everyone. The family seems to get more attached to Bardy each passing day but will Leon get rid of Bardy? To find the answer to that question visit your local M/RCPL location to borrow a copy of the book.

"This thought-provoking story will encourage children to expand their view about the environment especially how humans impact it. It is a book that appeals to both boys and girls especially those interested in animals. Children can also relate to the story because at one time or another they probably had to make a tough decision or felt conflicted about something. This story can also inspire children to explore with nature this summer and develop a better appreciation for it."

Thanks for another great review, Miss Sarah!

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