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Talon: on the Wing
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Appearances should not matter but tell that to a young child who was born with a handicap. Children can be cruel and adults even more because they are the ones who teach their children acceptance, tolerance and how to understand the differences we should embrace in people. But, one little girl named Matica would teach a whole tribe of Indians in Peru many lessons before all is said and done. Imagine being over 10 years old and never growing over the height of a two year old. Imagine how a child would feel if her brother’s height was much taller and the rest of the children in her village or tribe did not accept her or play with her. Imagine the life of loneliness that this young child would have.
Parents make a difference in the life children and Mira and Crayn are exceptional. Matica was bright, inquisitive and definitely different than most children almost ten years old. Although her growth hormones were not working correctly and her growth spurts were definitely stagnated, she manages to endear herself into the hearts of readers because of her kind heart, intelligent attitude and caring manner. The journey now continues as we meet Matica and Talon once again. The story begins with Matica and Talon taking flight. Imagine if you could fly over the clouds and through the fog and see the world from up above. Imagine if your life turned around all because everyone realized that who you are as a person is not about your size or appearance. Imagine having a best friend who is a Condor named Talon whose wings spread out and whose body is so strong that it can carry you on top of him and have great adventures together.
Trust is something that Matica has always found hard. Being different and having to work her way into the hearts and mind of the Indians was not easy for this young child. Her life changed when she managed to save the eggs of Tamo and Tima and Talon was born. This endeared her to the Indians and brought her the respect of friends and family. But, one dream one night would bring a total change to her perspective on things as she dreamt about her flight on Talon. Telling her family about it she expressed that she did not know how she managed to climb on top of him. Stating that she just found herself there. Describing what happened in detail was exciting but when she was interrupted she became annoyed. Not able to comprehend or understand what happened frustrating. The author helps young readers learn many difficult vocabulary words through Aikon. Many vocabulary words are taught to him with the hope that he will be able to understand and define not only for himself but for readers too. This is a great way to teach vocabulary skills to young readers. But after hearing about her dream her mother is not sure whether she wants her to fly with Talon and the Indians learning about her dream want her to recount it for them.
A new friend brings to light what happens when one young Indian is doubtful about her ability to fly with Talon and the reason he resents her. Matica is small in size but tall in intelligence, kindness and full of love for everyone. All she ever wanted was to be accepted for who she is and not what she looks like. Amos is her special friend who cares deeply for her and meeting Nunoa and hearing Alexander’s story is heartbreaking. Some parents cannot accept a child that is not perfect and might have some challenges. When Amos relates the reason for Alexander’s actions she understands and wants to help him. Blaming himself for the death of his brother was sad. The truth behind it is really startling. This story brings out many issues that kids face today and adults too when they have physical disabilities that others cannot accept or understand. But, when parents are cruel and do not care for a young child, like Jonah, and the end result is tragic, how can Alexander ever forgive them and how can he learn to deal with what happened? What happens next really frightens Matica as Talon is missing. Matica does not understand why people cannot accept children with disabilities and she tries to rationalize how someone could have helped Jonah. Friendships are formed in a unique way and Talon and Amos come to their own private agreement. But, there are many others that learn different lessons in this novel. Trust, friendship, loyalty and understanding play an important part in Matica’s life. Her parents are rare and are supportive and so is her brother but even more her best friend, Amos. What Amos does to prove how much he cares for her you will not believe because very few people would do this?
One young man would renew his faith in himself and life because of what he finally believes. With the help of Crayn and Matica Alexander might understand why his parents did what they did and how others can learn from them. Crayn and the Indians watched over Matica and Talon while they were flying. But, would her mother allow her to fly on Talon? What was really bothering Mira? Why is she against Matica flying?
Many mishaps, many disappoints and some dangerous situations before all is said and done. But, Matica also learns that she is growing and that although Talon is bigger than she is her extra weight might be a problem. Just how much longer, if at all can they fly together? Who is trying to steal the condors and what will happen to Alex? What about the spider and how will they take care of it? Watch how everyone bans together and hopefully will rid the village of a poisonous spider but was it? What about the raven and why does he seem to be everyone Matica and Talon are when they are flying?
When her dream becomes a reality will it be as wonderful as she imagined? What happens when the strong gale winds blow? What about her friendship with Amos will he understand her attachment to Talon? Read this outstanding YA novel and go up in the sky with Talon and Matica and see the wonders of the world along with them when you fly on his wings too.
Join Matica, Amos, Aikon, Alexander, Nunoa, and of course Tima, Tamo and our Talon as these great birds teach the humans some lessons in loyalty, trust and understanding and they teach the condors the meaning of the word acceptance. Once again author Gigi Sedlmayer pens a novel for children, adults, and even teens to enjoy, love and soar to highest peak or potential.
Fran Lewis: reviewer