Charlie's Raven by Jean Craighead George.
Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Young Readers Group: NY, 2004.
author of Julie of the Wolves Newbery Award 1973
& My Side of the Mountain Newbery Honor 1960

Charlie's Raven has a few themes running through it. Charlie is told a legend of ravens curing the sick. He steals a baby raven from a nest, so then must raise the wild bird. His grandfather is a naturalist and guides him in studying the behavior of ravens. Grandpa reminds him of the importance of observing and collecting data and not judging before having all of the facts. They collect data to try to determine if ravens are good or bad and also to see how raising a raven might impact the human community. Lastly, the story deals with serious illness and the deaths of loved ones in a gentle way.

The raven lore and antics are enjoyable. The scientfic study is a fresh approach to portraying conflicts between nature and people, and it is fascinating to think how the ravens and humans (or other animals) can interact and change each other's behavior.
related-ravens, wild pets, observation of nature, serious illness, death of relative or friend, scientific experimentation

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