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Wedgetail

Colin Thiele

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Fiction, Children's Fiction, General fiction (Children's / Teenage)

Andy is fascinated by wedgetail eagles. He lies on the shed roofs of his family s farm and watches them cruising about on their huge wings, high above him in the sunlit air. They are like skaters skimming on ice, gliding together or apart in vast arcs and circles a kilometre wide. One day a ranger brings him an orphaned eaglet so tiny that it seems unlikely to survive.

Wedgetail is the story of Andy s struggle to save its life, to nurse it and feed it, to protect it from danger and finally to watch it grow into a proud and beautiful eagle. The boy and the bird from a bond so deep that they understand each other instinctively.

Andy is afraid of George Rumble, the moody farmer next door, who is cetrtian that the wedgetails are carrying away his new-born lambs. He threatens to shoot them on sight. Fortunately this doesn t happen, but Andy is heartbroken when he is forced to release his bird into the wild. In the end it returns to him, but only after a terrible tragedy that changes his life for ever.

Wedgetail has a strong conservation theme. Like many of his stories, it illustrates Colin Thiele s concern for wildlife and love of natural creatures like the wedgetail. Along the way it tells us much about the power, grace and beauty of this mighty bird.

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