Years ago, I read Incident at Hawk's Hill and loved it, but as the years went by, I forgot the title of this book. I remembered the story, but I couldn't for the life of me remember the title or author. I would have loved to have my boys read this when they were young.
Two years ago, I found this at a yard sale and when I read the back, I knew I'd found the right book. I was pretty excited. Allan W. Eckert's novel published in 1971 is a Newberry Honor book. This is a fictionalized account based on a true story of a little boy who loved animals and seems to talk to them. He doesn't say much to humans, but he can mimic any animal. One day while wandering after animals, he gets scared by a man, and runs. He is lost, and after days and weeks, his family believes him dead.
But, Ben is alive. He has found the den of a female badger who takes him in after her own cubs die. Eckert paints a vivid picture of Ben's experiences. If you love adventure books set in 1870, you will love this book. This book shows how important connections are - connections to humans and to animals.
In 1998, Eckert wrote a sequel to the story called, Return to Hawk's Hill. Although he wrote this 25 years after writing Incident at Hawk's Hill, it flows seamlessly. I love how both of these stories promote understanding and love of differences in people and between people. The only bad race is a bad human or animal.
These books are great to read aloud to a class or to your child - even if that child is you.