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The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry — 16 Comments

  1. The perfect book to HOOK a students into reading…or back into reading. The topics, the text, level of vocabulary will thrill the perfect student or students. The time period is that of grand historic times. The directions the book takes you is fascinating. I can’t wait to use parts of this book during reading/writing and researching. 4 stars.

  2. I really wasn’t sure that I would like this book. Medieval stuff is just not my thing and I wasn’t sure that many students would be able to read or understand the topic. But the pattern of the story which felt very much like the “House that Jack Built” makes it more approachable for younger students. The added informational boxes provide additional reading material for older readers. Not a book that I would put in my classroom library, but it might nice book for students who have an interest in predator birds to have access to in our school library.

  3. It reminded me of “This is the House that Jack Built” but was interrupted by the informational text on each page, so the flow was awkward when I was reading the book. I found the information interesting but that could be because I just had the Raptor Center here with a falcon and a hawk. The illustrations were nice and I think a lot of what the falcon/falconer did in medieval times is somewhat accurate now. I could see how some kids would enjoy this book but it might only serve a narrow interest group.

  4. The cover of this book made me think of the Jean Craighead George “Frightful” books. I enjoyed this book, it was very informative but kept it at the level of a third grade and above reader. The amount of vocabulary could make for long discussions but could also encourage more students to try to explore even farther to learn more about other types of birds of prey. It was interesting to see how the last line of each description referred to the castle. I would stress the captions to students to when reading. ***

  5. This book had an “old fashioned” feel to it that was appropriate for the story. The illustrations were beautiful, but I felt the writing was “awkward.”. Too many pages started out with “This is . . . ” and while some of the writing had rhythm, some was flat. I enjoyed the author’s note about why she chose to write the book and how her father had introduced her to the sport. It’s definitely a book that would add diversity to a collection – I’m sure there are not many children’s books about Falconry.

  6. I didn’t really care for this book. I wasn’t a fan of the partially rhyming verse and the repetitive “this is.” I would recommend this book to a student who is interested in medieval times, but I don’t think I’ll use this as part of my curriculum.
    3 stars

  7. What a lovely subtle lesson on medieval history, while focusing on the aviary world. The illustrations were marvelous and helped one understand the book so well. I liked the side notes. What a great opportunity to talk about text features.
    5 stars

  8. This was a beautiful book. It was interesting to learn about falconry and how it is still used today. However, I didn’t think the text went with the illustrations and facts presented. The “This is the House That Jack Built” style didn’t seem to fit with the amazing illustrations and high level facts. It actually took me a few pages to catch on and when I did I thought it was an odd combination. This book is fine for the library, but I don’t think I’d use it in my classroom.

  9. II liked this book very much. I liked learning about falconry in medieval times. I liked the informational text and the beautiful illustrations. It gave me the feel of the times. This book would be a great extension to my second grade’s book on castles which they love. I rate it a 5.

  10. I did not like this book and found it boring. However, I will say that the illustrations were stunning. I’m certain there are kids who would enjoy this book but it seems more of a special interest type of book rather than one I’d recommend to all. Not sure that it really has a curriculum use. Rating 3/5 stars

  11. This book was interesting and detailed concerning medieval falconry. It was also interesting to read the author’s experiences with her father’s falconry passion, and how these were the inspiration behind this book. I would include this book in a Medieval Europe unit for third graders. I may not be enamored with the practice of hunting or falconry, but many students would find this interesting and learn something about another time, as I did. Educational and artistically rendered, I give this book 5 stars.

  12. I liked this book. It is well written and explains in detail the sport of falconry. The illustrations compliment the book as well. I would suggest it as more of a 3-5 grade level and then the history of the medieval time period could be better discussed at more length.

  13. I really did not care for the “This is the…” structure that the author used. It was too repetitive. I don’t think it served a purpose.
    The author shared some very interesting information in this book. I don’t know much about falconry, so a lot of the information was new to me. I’m not sure that it really has a place in my grades 2-3 library classes. I could actually see how a grades 5-6 social studies teacher could use it as they learn about historical trades.
    2 stars

  14. I like how the author used simple verse to explain how falconry works. The illustrations are amazing. I see using this book to talk about how important animals were to peoples livelihood in history. The author’s side notes on each page make it easy for further discussion and understanding. I would place this book in both free read and whole group. I give this book 4 stars.

  15. The illustrations in this story were beautiful. I like the way the author used rhyme and verse to tell the story. I also liked the italicized box on each page stating facts about falconry. I have seen bird of prey demonstrations at zoos and fairs and find it fascinating. I think it is a nice read aloud that could lead to discussions on castles, hunting, or even the challenges of training an animal. ***

  16. I did not like this book very much. The story was pretty boring. After reading the author’s notes I see that it was a child’s story of her father being a falconer. The illustrations were wonderful and I did enjoy them, but I can’t see using this book in the classroom for curriculum or free reading.
    I rate this book 2 stars.

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