Title: There’s an Owl in the Shower
Author: Jean Craighead George
Major Themes: Conservation, Logging, Owls
Synopsis: While Borden’s dad is out of work because logging has been halted, Borden finds a baby owl in need of help and they raise it.
There’s an Owl in the Shower was recommended as a resource to accompany our Science curriculum this year, so we read it. I’m not very excited, as a rule, about “greenie”-type books; they seem to put animals above people quite often. This one, though, shows how conservation, while it can seem to hurt people’s livelihood, actually helps people in the long run. Because everything is interconnected, clear-cutting forests not only destroys animal’s habitats, but also ends up putting people out of work.
Borden’s father was a cutter for a logging company in an old-growth forest in California when logging was stopped by conservationists who realized that the spotted owl was dying out as a result of the logging. Borden decided to help out—if the spotted owls were all killed, there would be no reason for the logging ban and his father would have work again. Instead, he found a baby owl who had been blown out of his nest, and took the foundling home to care for him. His father took over care of the baby, hoping that he would be able to show the judge he cared about owls and get out of a fine he incurred for fighting in public. Will Borden’s father follow through on his threat to wring the owl’s neck after the court hearing?
There’s an Owl in the Shower is a good way to learn about how interconnected all of nature is. It also shows how love can change people.
WARNING: I saw two words in the book I don’t appreciate, one each on pages 22 and 130.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12