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Wild Wings


Wild Wings

Alethea Allarey

Official Links


Written by Gill Lewis

Illustrated by Yuta Onada

Published by Atheneum, 2011


Life’s lessons unfold across the canvases of children’s lives as they navigate the storms of nature, friendship, secrets, and promises. Callum and his friends catch Iona McNair on his parent’s land. Iona promises to share a secret just with Callum if he lets her return. Their friendship blooms as they protect the secret of an osprey’s aerie on his farm. They work together to keep the osprey and its young safe from poachers, and they promise to help Iris (the osprey) make the migration to Africa. Then Iona falls ill and Callum needs to fulfill the promise alone.

When Iris becomes lost, Callum must find a new friend, Janeba, to discover her fate. Janeba does all she can from her hospital bed and is able to enlist the help of people in her village as well as a student doctor, Mas. Together, they find Iris. After much care, Iris is healthy and able to return north. As Iris continues the return migration, there are new fears and situations to be resolved. Janeba embarks on her own journey to overcome her illness with the help of Callum’s village. Iris finally returns to the aerie on the loch.


Combine a love of animals, a computer, and a skill to intertwine the lives of both characters and readers and you are beginning to get a glimpse of Gill Lewis. Her early dreams were of becoming an explorer or if that wasn’t to be, at least a vet or a worker in a zoo. Instead, Gill became a veterinarian. Later, while reading to her own children, she rediscovered her love of children’s literature, and she was motivated to learn more about writing. She earned her masters degree in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University where she was also awarded the most promising author prize for her course. Unlike many debut authors, her debut novel was “snapped up” almost immediately after submission to publishers. Gill’s other books, including her most recent novel Moon Bear, all show her love of nature and animals. Gill resides in Somerset, United Kingdom.


  • Almost everyone has friends. How did you meet your friends? Have you ever made friends with someone you thought you would never like? Do you have a friend that your other friends don’t accept? Does it matter to you?
  • What would it be like to have a friend in another country? Have you had a pen pal? What types of things would you like to know about your pen pal and his/her family or life? What would you tell your pen pal? Would you share everything, or is there something you would not like your friend to know? Why?
  • Do you like to observe animals in the wild? Which animal would you watch? Are there any animals near your school that would be interesting to watch? Where would you begin to look? Are there any animals or creatures to observe if you live in a city? What would you like to know about animal that live in the city? What might we learn about animals and ourselves as we observe them? Are animals less important than people? Are they more important than people? How does this affect land use? How should we balance the concerns of the natural world with those of the human world?


Auch, M. J. Wing Nut. Square Fish, 2008.
Christopher, Lucy. Flyaway. Chicken House, 2013.
Dembicki, Matt. Xoc: The Journey of a Great White. Fulcrum Publishing, 2014.
Hoare, Ben. DK Eyewitness Books: Endangered Animals. DK Publishing, 2010.
Hoose, Phillip. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2012.
George, Jean Craighead. Charlie’s Raven. Puffin, 2006.
Kelley, Jane. Nature Girl. Yearling, 2011.
Rinaldi, Ann. An Unlikely Friendship: A Novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2007.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things. Yearling, 2008.
Wilhelm, Doug. The Revealers. Square Fish, 2003.
Wojciechowska, Maia. A Kingdom in a Horse. Sky Pony Press, 2012.

For more information, please check the 2014-2015 Resource Guide - Intermediate.