Incident at Hawk's Hill by Allan W. Eckert.
Little, Brown and Company: Boston, 1971.
Newbery Honor 1972

Ben MacDonald is at home with the animals near his family's prairie farm in Manitoba, Canada. He observes and closely imitates their speech and behavior. Wild and even fierce animals accept his presence because they know he is not a threat.

In June 1870, he wanders away from the homestead following and watching the wildlife. A storm starts, and he realizes he is lost and unprotected. Instinctively he crawls into a badger hole for some relief from the storm.

His family and neighbors search for Ben for 2 days with no sign of him. Although his family never stops looking for him, Ben is missing for 2 months. When his brother finds him, he behaves as a wild animal would, and once convinced of his safety, he has an unbelievable story to tell.

For some time now I have thought about reading this story and have been reluctant. I finally read it because a friend who is a public school teacher recommended it a few times. As I started to read it, the details of the animals behavior drew me into the story. It is beautifully written-descriptive, but flowing and full of action. Once the boy was lost on the prairie, I had to know how the situation would be resolved.

related-nature, animals, survival, prairie life, badgers, communication, communicating with animals

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