Note: Prompted by Goodreads, I am reposting some archival reviews I did ages ago while working at the Jim Henson Company, many of them for a series of proposed children's fantasy TV movies which never actually happened. Alas.

I am in love with Mr. Lindstrom, my science teacher. I found out where he lives and every night I perch on a tree branch outside his bedroom window and watch him sleep. He sleeps in his underwear: Fruit of the Looms, size 34.

Owl Tycho is a fourteen-year-old girl who can turn into an owl, or perhaps an owl who can turn into a girl. She’s not just a girl with magic powers: she looks a little like an owl in human form, her blood is black and her skin is grayish, and she lives on a diet of mice and insects. She has fallen in love with Mr. Lindstrom, her divorced, forty-year-old science teacher.

But Mr. Lindstrom has no idea that she loves him, much less that she watches him nightly from a tree branch. Owl soon becomes exhausted from the effort of watching Mr. Lindstrom all night while also keeping up with her school work, keeping her secret from her classmates, and convincing her parents that there’s nothing wrong with her. And then a mysterious intruder shows up in the woods around Mr. Lindstrom's house...

An absolute delight: witty, charming, heartfelt, and original. Owl has some problems that will be familiar to any teenager: her difficulty fitting in and making friends; her crush on a teacher; the strange but cute boy her own age; parents who are well-meaning but don’t understand. But those common issues are seen from the point of view of a character who is literally alien, as much owl as she is girl.

The result is both startling and funny, and makes these archetypal problems and their resolution seem fresh and new. The characters are all sympathetic and believable, if odd. The ending is a bit coincidental and predictable, but still satisfying. Great title, great concept, great voice.

I haven't liked any of Kindl's subsequent books as much as this one, but I haven't kept up with everything she's written.

Owl in Love


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