Booktalk: Owl in Love by Patrice Kindl

This wasn’t the first booktalk I ever wrote, but it’s the first one I wrote that I remember being proud of.  I presented it at a meeting of young adult librarians, and several of them asked if they could have copies of it afterwards.  So that was how I knew that it was good.

As you probably know by now, I’m not a fan of romance books, but if a book crosses another genre with romance and does it well, it can win me over.  Owl in Love was definitely one of those books.  Owl in Love combines fantasy and humor with a sweet and troubled female protagonist, and readers will find themselves empathizing with this very unique teenager.

If you enjoy this book (and I think you will), then it’s worth checking out more of Patrice Kindl’s books.  I’m a big fan of Goose Chase, which explores the lighter side of fantasy, and The Woman in the Wall, which explores its darker/sadder/lonelier side.


Owl is in love with her science teacher, Mr. Lindstrom.  She perches on a tree branch outside his window every night and watches him sleep in his underwear.  Fruit of the Loom, size 34.  Now, Owl isn’t an owl all the time.  She’s a shape-shifter – a were-owl.  You see, she’s only an owl at night; during the day she’s an ordinary 14-year-old girl.  Well … mostly ordinary.  Except that her eyes are a little too round.  Her eyebrows are a little too thick.  Her skin is a little too gray, because her blood is black instead of red.  Oh, and she will not eat the cafeteria food.  I mean, why should she?  Owl always eats whatever she catches at night, like insects or small rodents.  She just can’t stand the thought of ravioli, hamburgers, or pizza.  But Owl’s problem isn’t that she’s a shape-shifter; she’s been living with that her whole life.  Her problem is that she’s in love with Mr. Lindstrom, who’s married, human, and her teacher.  So, Owl sits outside his window and watches him sleep every night.  And as she does so, she notices a strange boy and an even stranger owl lurking in the woods near Mr. Lindstrom’s home.  Owl now has to face the fact that the man she loves might be in danger.  Can Owl protect him and still keep her identity a secret?

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