In this fresh and funny YA novel, a teenage falconer in training runs up against trouble when he finds himself falling for a girl who is part of a radical animal rights group.
Mercer Buddie wants two things in this world: a girlfriend and the chance to prove to his master falconer father that he’s not a flake. With hunting season fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Mercer has only a short time to work with Flip, a red-tailed hawk he irreverently named to show his dad that falconers don’t have to be so serious all the time.
When Mercer meets Lucy, he falls hard for her gorgeous looks and bubbly personality. He thinks his love life is about to take flight, until he discovers that Lucy and her family belong to a fanatical animal-rights organization called HALT—a group that believes imposing any sort of restrictions on animals is a form of cruelty. Mercer soon realizes that if he wants to keep seeing Lucy, he’ll need to keep his love of falconry and his family’s raptor rehabilitation center a secret from her, and Lucy’s involvement with HALT from his family.
With humor and honesty, Mercer’s story shows how growing up means making difficult choices…and sometimes, being rewarded in unexpected ways.
"Flip the Bird is packed with plot tension, flippant adolescent humor, and the complications of human relationships. Brunner’s novel will appeal to a variety of readers, including those drawn to stories of wildlife, family dynamics, or plain old star-crossed romance."
"Brunner writes an impassioned story with real-life moral dilemmas. Abundant details of falconry, the result of the author's own falconry apprentice lessons . . . root the story solidly in a fascinating world new to most readers. An engaging story of a young teen finding what's most important in his life."
"Lovers of Sterling North’s Rascal, Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf, and Calame’s Dan Versus Nature will flock to this tale about a teen and his hawk. . . . Get multiple copies for nature-loving reluctant readers."
“An exciting adventure into the art of falconry and the heart of a young man.”
—David Lubar, author of Hidden Talents and Character, Driven
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