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Book Review: A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson


'A glittering story of frost and friendship, with writing full of magic and heart, A Girl Called Owl is Amy Wilson's critically-acclaimed debut about family and the beauty of the natural world.

It's bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you've got a dad you've never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there's not a lot of room for much else. So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she's tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father? And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?'


Owl does not want to stand out, which is difficult when your name is Owl. Her Mum is bold and dazzling and adored which Owl hates as she is completely opposite, so in order to find someone to relate to she becomes obsessed with finding her father who she knows nothing about. Through frost patterns in her skin she discovers that her mother's outlandish tales were true - she is the daughter of Jack Frost. Owl, part human and part elemental, does not quite fit into either world and through the book attempts to understand her place in all of it.

The secondary characters in this story definitely add to its enjoyment. Mallory, Owl's best friend, makes a great sensible 'straight man' counterpart to Owl's mischievous antics, and the mysterious Alberic who introduces her to all that is fae has some secrets of his own. The plotline with Owl's father manages to remain intriguing throughout, as there is a big struggle with acceptance in the book. As Owl is half-human, and therefore not entirely elemental, she is not easily welcomed by those who live in the fairy realm which makes her worry that her father will want nothing to do with her.

This is a great book for any child who is struggling with their identity and acceptance from others - as it deals with these issues via myth and magic, the book is more accessible and less intimidating of a read. Some children may not feel comfortable exploring their feelings with a book that talks about acceptance directly in relation to race, gender, or sexuality as they may worry that others will judge them for it, so books like these are a great alternative.

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