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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches a bit about the nesting habits of hawks and eco-activism.
People show concern about the survival of the red-tailed hawk in Central Park.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this true story of a red-tailed hawk surviving in New York City definitely carries a strong message about the rights of wild animals.
Is It Any Good?
By calling Pale Male the "citizen hawk of New York City," Janet Schulman lets the reader know just where she stands on the issue of hawks vs. humans, and her stance echoes throughout the book. The question of whether hawk rights outweigh human rights is really never asked; it's assumed that they are at least of equal importance. But the problem of how to manage nesting wildlife amid the city, with all the mess and inconvenience it might bring, is not addressed. However, this is still an amazing story, and one that will certainly evoke important discussion.
Most of the story is told in a straightforward, journalistic style. The most engaging parts tell of Pale Male's first appearance in Central Park, his nest building activities, and the things he does to teach his fledging hawklets to survive. Readers will be as amazed, and captivated, as New Yorkers were. And they will be just as stunned at the harshness of the people who destroyed the hawks' nest. Watercolor paintings create scenes of almost breathtaking interest. The colorful autumn trees of Central Park stand out in stark contrast to grey high rise buildings. Brown, black, beige feathered hawks soar gracefully in the sky, or guard speckled eggs in a twig-woven nest perched on a cement ledge. Scene after scene brings the natural world together with the urban. While this is the root of conflict in the Pale Male story, it's also the part that makes it amazing.
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