Featured Book: The Falcon in the Glass

This post is a part of an original series created by librarians/media specialists across Central Minnesota featuring booksIf you have a book you would like to showcase, send your review to our offices.

Review by Maria Burnham, SRRHS Library Media Specialist

Book: The Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher

Maria Burnham, SRRH Library Media Specialist
Maria Burnham, SRRH Library Media Specialist

The novel The Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher is technically classified as a middle school-level fantasy novel, although the book reads more like historical fiction than fantasy.  I was hesitant to read the book at first because fantasy is usually one of the last genres I reach for off the shelf.  However, I enjoyed this book immensely and find it appropriate for both high school and middle school students.

The novel follows the life of Renzo, a teenage boy who is working toward becoming a glassblower (his father’s dying wish for his son) in Venice, Italy as a means of supporting his mother and sister. With no one to teach him the trade, Renzo works tirelessly day and night to perfect his skills.  One night, however, he notices a small falcon in the shop; the bird belongs to a girl who has been hiding in the glassworks for warmth and protection.  And it turns out she’s not alone.  She’s one of ten orphaned children with bright green eyes who are condemned as witches thanks to their ability to communicate with birds.  Renzo struggles between helping these needy children and fulfilling the obligations of his future career to support his own family.

This novel contains both strong male and female characters alike. It explores the theme of moral obligations in the human race and would be a book that many students would enjoy, appreciate, and could easily discuss.