BOOK NAME: The Owl Keeper
AUTHOR: Christine Brodien-Jones
Maxwell Unger is allergic to the sun. Or at least that’s the condition he was diagnosed with when he was younger. The doctor told him that he couldn’t ever be touched by sunlight, or he’d have a terrible reaction, burn up, and die.
Before Max was diagnosed with the disease, before the High Echelon asserted full control, his Gran told him stories about silver owls. After she died, the High Echelon declared that silver owls are evil and that they need to be hunted down and killed. But Max has a secret. He knows of a silver owl that is still alive – what is more, he visits her every night after the sun goes down.
Because he has to stay inside all day, Max doesn’t have many friends and isn’t connected with the outside world except for at night. But when he meets a strange girl one evening while he’s out walking, his life changes forever. Max begins to question the High Echelon as he gets to know more and more about the girl. Every week, he has to be injected with medicine to make sure his condition won’t get worse. But as he talks to his newfound friend, Max starts to wonder if his allergy is even real.
This book was a refreshing break from the monotone of other science fiction and fantasy novels on the shelves. For once, I didn’t find myself groaning once a vampire or werewolf was introduced. In fact, I couldn’t put it down until I was done. Along with providing an enticing storyline, the novel had deeper meaning to it as well–kind of like The Giver, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. For me, the character of Rose, Max’s friend, was the most interesting. She is a fighter, and never gave up no matter what hardship befell her. She never stopped trying to find out the truth, and didn’t let anything put her down. I think that she is a great model for kids our age today–never give up and persevere, and you’ll achieve your goals.