Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Linda Sue Park
Illustrator: James Madsen
For Raffa, hunted by guards and far from home, things go from bad to worse. Raffa, his recently deafened cousin, Garith, and his friend, Kuma, are on the run from the Chancellor and her guards, and are in hiding in the mountains. When Raffa finds a plant that he has never before seen, he begins to experiment with it until he finds that it could potentially be an antidote for the toxin that the Chancellor is using to control animals back in her compound. When he finds out that the Chancellor is actually targeting some of her own people, Raffa knows he must return to the city and try to stop her plans by setting the animals free. Rather than succeeding, however, Raffa finds himself imprisoned in the Garrison with no way of getting out, and the reader is left in anxious anticipation for the next book in the series.
In second book of the Wing and Claw series, Linda Sue Park continues to draw the reader into her artfully created world, which is unlike any other that readers have may have encountered in the fantasy genre. Though the story moves a little slowly, it nevertheless draws the reader in with relatable characters who continue to develop and deepen while endearing themselves to the reader. The book is also compelling because of its interesting plot twists. This second book serves to provide an essential bridge from the beginning of the story to what promises to be an enthralling conclusion. This is a great book for kids in the middle-elementary grades, as it takes the reader on a fun adventure while still maintaining a wholesome quality so essential to children of that age.