Reviewed by Beverly Slapin
“It was a bad day at school.” Young Adrián’s face is bloody and bruised, his shirt is torn, and his fists are clenched with rage. It’s always a bad day at school. Adrián gets into trouble with everyone — except his friend, Santiago, who never has any problems and never has any bad days. Yet, the two are friends.
Before going home, the two friends sit in the middle of a garbage-strewn empty lot “that doesn’t belong to anyone, where no one ever comes.” In a clump of grass, Adrián finds a young, wounded falcon, scared and unable to fly. The boy wraps the bird in his jacket to keep her warm and promises to take care of her.
At home, Adrián looks to his mother for advice about curing the bird’s broken wing — but receives instead a mean-spirited promise: We already know what happened at school . . . . Later, your father will give you what you deserve. The next day, Adrián skips school and meets up with Santiago in the empty lot “where no one ever comes.” Santiago takes him and the falcon to someone who “cures broken bones” — and pays for the treatment with his Christmas money. Together, the two friends gently care for the wounded falcon. And in science class, “even though the others laugh and whisper,” Adrián speaks for the first time, giving a talk “about birds of prey, about their strength, about their beauty.” Continue reading.
Wounded Falcons by Jairo Buitrago
Published by Groundwood Books Ltd on September 1, 2021
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
Also by this author: Dos Conejos Blancos, Walk with Me, On the Other Side of the Garden