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Wabi by Joseph Bruchac
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Whilst it got off to a promising start, the story quickly dimished into simplicity once Wabi transformed. The relationship between he and the human girl that he "fell in love" with seemed more aimed at convenience rather than any actual emotional attachment forming between the two and once Wabi changed for her, he basically became perfect at everything and anything and was just so wonderful and brilliant and made no real mistakes or even really struggled, even when facing off against the monsters. Overall, very little tension, poor character development and a weak plot that is only saved by the hints of wry humour that occasionally shine through. ( )
  LemurKat | Sep 12, 2013 |
Joseph Bruchac, a gifted and prolific author who has explored his Abenaki (Native American) heritage through numerous genres of writing, including historical, contemporary and horror fiction; poetry, folktale anthologies; picture books; juvenile biographies; and non-fiction; here adds to his growing repertoire by making his first foray into the world of fantasy.

Wabi, so named because of his white feathers, is an unusually large and intelligent owl, raised by his wise Great-Grandmother, with whom he can converse in the human tongue. It is this ability that allows Wabi to observe and understand the humans who live in the village near his home. As he grows fond of "his" humans, Wabi gradually becomes their Village Guardian, protecting them from various monsters. But the more he sees of humans, the more he longs to be a part of their community, especially when he begins to fall in love with Dojihla, a strong-willed young Abenaki maiden. Wabi's transformation into a human man is not without its dangers however, chief among them rejection and heartbreak, and our hero soon finds himself on a quest that takes him far from home...

As someone who admires Joseph Bruchac and has an interest in the connection between fantasy and folklore, this novel was of real interest to me. It is clear that Bruchac draws heavily upon traditional Abenaki folklore in writing Wabi, but I found myself wondering whether the various names and monsters were taken directly from tradition, or whether the author transformed them in any way for narrative purposes. I enjoyed Wabi, but although Bruchac has told an engaging story, I found his narrative lacked some of the emotional power of his other works, notably: The Arrow Over the Door and Hidden Roots.

One other note: I noticed that some of the Abenaki words, like "bedagiak," which means "Thunder Beings," have the same suffix as the word for the American colonists: "Bostoniak." I found myself wondering if the suffix "iak" or "ak" is always added to a word for a group of beings/people? (As always reader, write me if you know...) ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 27, 2013 |
This tale is about a runt owl named Wabi, who was pushed out of his nest and was rescued by his great grandmother. She took care of him and taught him many great things, including the fact that they could speak in human language as well as other animal languages. Wabi was fascinated with humans and fell in love with the chief's daughter. His only dream was to become human so he could spend his life with her.

This was such a beautiful and well told story. I adored Wabi and felt so badly for him when he wanted to be a human and just be with the girl he loved. The adventures he went on and the paths he chose truly made him a hero. Highly recommended for all ages. ( )
  tweezle | Nov 4, 2009 |
Fantasy quest novel about a young were-owl. I liked it lots.
  booksofcolor | Jul 10, 2009 |
One of the teens at my library insisted I must read this...repeatedly. So I finally got a copy and started reading. Listen to those teens because the book is fantastic. A rare chance to enter into a Native American story and live the legend. I'm a believer in Wabi. ( )
  heathersblue | Jul 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142409472, Paperback)

Wabi was born an owl?a great horned owl who grew to become such a strong, confident creature that he was afraid of nothing. But now he is afraid. He fears that he might never win the heart of the girl he loves. Somehow, despite his own intentions, he has fallen in love with a girl?a beautiful, headstrong human girl. And so he begins the adventure of his life. He shape-shifts into human form in order to be with her. But before he can win her love, he must face an even greater challenge in a land he comes to think of as the Valley of Monsters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:19 -0400)

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After falling in love with an Abenaki Indian woman, a white great horned owl named Wabi transforms into a human being and has several trials and adventures while learning to adapt to his new life.

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