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  1. Wabi: A Hero's Tale
  2. Project MUSE - Wabi: A Hero's Tale (review)
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Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Told in an engagingly wry narrative voice, this exciting fantasy by the award-winning author of "Code Talker" is woven from classic elements of folklore, romance, and adventure. Joseph Bruchac is a highly acclaimed children's book author, poet, novelist and storyteller, as well as a scholar of Native American culture.

Coauthor with Michael Caduto of the bestselling Keepers of the Earth series, Bruchac's poems, articles and stories have appeared in hundreds of publications, from Akwesasne Notes and American Poetry Review to National Geographic and Parabola. He has authored many books for adults and children including Code Talker: For more information about Joseph, please visit his website www.

Wabi: A Hero's Tale

Wabi's great-grandmother Owl gives him the name because of his pale feathers, and the two owls share a great bond: Wabi grows strong, and like male adolescents of many species, he is proud and not a little cocky. But he falls in love with a human Abenaki girl, Dojihla, as headstrong and confident as himself.

Bruchac does a grand job of capturing the sweet swagger of Wabi as an owl and, later, after he is transformed into a boy, tucking in bits from a number of animal and monster tales. Wabi finds a wolf companion, learns to work his human body, and discovers ways to protect his environment and, eventually, Dojihla's people. Wolf, girl, and boy save each other in the end, and great-grandmother has a key role, too. Readers may be reminded of Nawat, the crow boy in Tamora Pierce's Trickster's Queen; this shape-shifter tale is very different, but it may appeal to the same audience.

A Hero's Tale

Bruchac's Skeleton Man storytelling skills are on full display in this tale introducing an owlet narrator. Wabi's adventure begins almost immediately, when his brother pushes him out of the nest and into the path of a hungry fox. Wabi's great-grandmother, whom he's never met, comes to his rescue and takes him under her wing. She patiently answers the insatiably curious owl's questions, at times with stories.

Aug 06, Fowler Library rated it it was amazing. For years as an owl, Wabi has been guarding the village from the many monsters that hunt humans. With his wolf friend Malsumsis at his side he fights the evil creatures and keeps the village safe. Now he has fallen in love with one of the village girls.

His great grandmother tells him how to transform himself into a human so that he can enter into a contest to win the girl in marriage. He wins but it is discovered that he is not truly human and he is cast out. He enters on a quest to find the wo For years as an owl, Wabi has been guarding the village from the many monsters that hunt humans. He enters on a quest to find the wolf pack that vanished and left Malsumsis behind as a puppy.

Jul 22, Renee rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Wabi begins his life as a runt owl. But when his great-grandmother takes care of him, he turns into a white owl who protects the people in a nearby village. After Wabi falls in love with a woman in the village and chooses to turn into a human, he learns what it really means to be human.

The story is a Native American superhero tale with the funny and reflective Wabi at its center. Wabi is for those interested in self-discover Wabi begins his life as a runt owl. Wabi is for those interested in self-discovery, magic and adventure. Sep 27, Miriam rated it liked it Recommends it for: Wabi is more intelligent than a normal owl, so he watches the humans and listens to their stories. He protects them from monsters in the woods. This was an all right book, it was just too cute for me. It would be good for kids who like anthropomorphic animals.

For readers older than 11 or so who want a fantasy with owls I'd recommend trying Owl in Love instead. I enjoyed this story. It was an interesting twist on shape-shifting animals that turn into humans for love. Wabi is an interesting Character that is hatched an owl and is raised by his great grandmother to become the biggest owl and very smart. I like that he is entranced by the human girl and falls in love with her.

Even after she turns him down he still tries to do what is best for him and his pet to rescue the wolves. It is a good story of a hero and love. I would recommend this book. Apr 17, Ellison Huang rated it it was amazing. This is a wonderful book filled with adventure, mystery, and love. This is a wonderful traditional literature book about a wondrous transformation that leads Wabi to realize who his closest friends really are and the life that he is meant to live.

This wonderful book will be appreciated for anyone into adventure, suspicion, or fantasy. Joseph Bruchac also includes some elements of american indian folklore. This is a great book for ages 9 and up. Feb 18, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: I never knew where it would lead except that the owl would get the girl. It was an interesting perspective going from an owl to human.


  1. Book Discussion: Wabi: A Hero’s Tale by Joseph Bruchac.
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I am now going to read Code Talker. I watched the movie, but books are almost always better. Jun 14, Robyn rated it it was amazing. Another beautiful, exciting book by one of my favorite authors. I love Bruchac's truncated yet graceful style, and his straightforward storytelling.

Wabi, A Hero's Tale is another book I'll be recommending to my middle grade children although, thinking about it, my six year old son might enjoy it as a read-a-loud. Apr 13, Amber rated it liked it Shelves: This book is full of adventure, humor, romance, magic, monsters, Native American culture and a lot of other really wonderful things.

You can't help loving Wabi and wanting to find out what will become of him in all of his adventures. I would feel confident recommending this book to just about anyone, from the young reluctant reader to the more mature reader looking for a quick enjoyable read. Jun 10, Suzanne Warr rated it it was amazing Shelves: A truly amazing animal pov, but also an excellent shape shifting story and the kind of tale you feel in your bones has been around since humans first started telling stories.

Read the full review on my blog , and get the cat's two cents, as well. Feb 28, Jean rated it really liked it. Wabi, an owl who falls from his nest and is cared for by wise great grandmother owl learns that his mother was a human who became an owl. He falls in love with a human girl, and changes to a human. Eventually he saves his wolf friends family and the village and gains the love of Dojihla who had earlier rejected him because of his owl ears. May 13, Becky rated it it was amazing. This was a great book- I couldn't stop reading and wanted the story to continue when it was over.

Project MUSE - Wabi: A Hero's Tale (review)

Very detailed story to help the imagination picture everything. Wabi is a tale of a very brave being. I have heard this author also wrote Keepers of the Earth. I will be reading more from this guy! Jul 18, James Esplin rated it liked it Shelves: Wabi falls from his nest. His great-grandmother takes care of him, but soon he falls in love with a human girl. A what a trip love takes him on. The way the Joseph Bruchac keeps the owl nature when Wabi becomes human was fun. I liked how they were to give gratitude for what they killed. Apr 30, Kim Riehle rated it really liked it. This book was an interesting way to look at what a hero means in the American Indian Culture.

Wabi is an owl, who is a man, who is both. He finds that protecting those he loves is the meaning of being a true hero. He also realizes that true peace comes when we are comfortable with who we are. Mar 28, BL rated it really liked it. The descriptive blurb did not entice me at all. The cover didn't catch my eye. But my daughter insisted I read this book Simply told, with understated bits of humor and good pacing.

Even the moments of magic and plot twists didn't seem overly contrived. Apr 12, Marilyn rated it liked it. Read this for a discussion with students at local middle school. It was interesting, fast moving and I think the students will have a postive reaction to it. I think I'd like to try another book by this author.

Nov 22, Teri Jo Hanseen rated it really liked it. Wouldn't we all want to be an owl. Jul 28, Kathy rated it really liked it Shelves: A native American hero fairytale.

Additional Information

Mar 09, Brian Murphy rated it really liked it Shelves: Entertaining, but not necessarily groundbreaking. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry.