A young thrush named Youngen is having trouble finding her song. As she spends time with her friends who have beautiful feathers and nicer nests than her own, she starts to doubt herself and her parents. Rufus, a wise old owl, notices her discomfort and decides to take her on a journey to learn about the world.
As she travels with Rufus, she learns many things about the animals in the forest and about Humans – those strange animals that make war with each other, but also build magnificent cities. And she learns that Humans can also be loving and compassionate, when she finds her own life in danger. As Youngen learns about herself and the world around her, she spontaneously bursts into song – her own unique and very beautiful song.
Author Maria J. Andrade has written a sweet novel of a young bird coming of age. She shares tidbits of wisdom about animal life and their habits along the way, to educate while telling her story. Respect for the earth and all animal and plant life is demonstrated through Youngen’s words and actions. An uplifting book with a positive and timely message. Youngen Finds Her Song is a delight to read!
—Alice Berger, Berger’s Book Reviews
Release Date: October 7, 2008
Publisher: Clara Publishing
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0970634733; 108 pages; $29.59, Hardcover $12.01; E-Book, $7.99
Book Website: https://booksasfriends.com/books/
Deep in the heart of the forest in a land called “Dreems,” where everything is possible, a small bird family lived high in an Oak tree. Within the nest, beside a newly hatched egg, lay a baby bird. She could not see clearly for her eyes were not fully open and her wings were too delicate to fly. She was so small that she barely chirped and her parents called their fledgling “Youngen.”
At first Youngen could only see shadows but day after day her vision improved until colorful shapes appeared which surprised and enchanted her. The very first images she saw within her own nest were her parents who seemed large and wondrous birds! They had strong wings and soft under feathers, which warmed her every night. During daylight they would leave to seek out bits of food, which they placed in her hungry, open beak. In the nest in which she hatched, her parents had left small brown twigs, bright green leaves, and brilliant marigold flowers. They told her that the green leaves and marigolds helped protect her from germs and parasites, which might harm the health of a fledgling. 1
As time went on Youngen could see that beyond her nest was a fascinating world. Everywhere she looked in the forest there where birds large and small chirping, singing, or flying silently back and forth across the sky. Some scampered quickly far below her on the ground. Others perched on top of trees or on branches and watched her from a distance.
Youngen began to sit on the edge of her nest every day to feel the soft breezes and to watch the world of birds go by. One day she noticed a large, old, owl that stared at her from across a large, gnarled tree.
"His name is “Rufus,” her mother told her, “He is a friend of the family.2 He has helped raise many young birds. He is also very wise and knows many things.”
Rufus lived with a blind snake that kept his nest clean of larvae; with the snake’s help all the chicks in Rufus’ care grew strong and healthy. 3 Youngen had never seen such great, round, eyes as those, which now looked at her. Her parents said,
"Since the day you hatched, whenever we were away, Rufus has watched over you."
“Hello,” said Youngen to the owl as she flapped her wings quickly, her feet lifting off the ground.
Rufus noticed that Youngen was often at the edge of her nest and that her wings were stronger. Youngen’s parents had tried to gently nudge her off the nest a few times with the admonition “do not look down.” At such times her small wings fluttered nervously but Young did look way down and saw the great depths beneath her. With heart pounding madly, she quickly flew back onto the edge of the nest, grateful to touch solid ground, her head dizzy with fear.
“How do you do?” asked Rufus.” You certainly have grown quickly and now it appears you are ready to learn how to fly.”
“No thank you!” answered the young bird nervously as she looked down again.
Rufus called from his tree, “Whoo, Whoo told you to look down?”
The little bird chirped back quickly. “But what if I fall?”
Rufus continued, “Wise birds always look ahead to their destination, trusting their wings and the wind, which guides them.”
About the Author
She believes peace in the world, begins under our own roof. Therefore, she wrote, Heart Magic, Keeping Love Alive & Well, a small guidebook for individuals to help them succeed in healthy, long-lasting relationships. These books are available in Spanish.
Her five books for children, including the eco-social book, Youngen Finds Her Song is an important and hopeful book for families to read together during these challenging times. It has been loved and enjoyed by children, parents, grandparents, and teachers across America.
You can visit her website at www.booksasfriends.com and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and LinkedIn.
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