Melissa Hart
Author, Teacher, Speaker
I like owls. And traveling. I like kayaking and hiking and camping all over Oregon with my husband and eight-year old daughter. I like cats, adoption, and my lesbian mothers. I'm particularly fond of Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

I live in Eugene with Western screech owls in my backyard and a fine black cat named Alger Hiss in my house. My middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl, comes out with Sky Pony Press in 2016. I also wrote the YA memoir, Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009) and Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family (Lyons 2014). 

My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Orion, High Country News, The Advocate, Adbusters, Hemispheres,and The Writer. I started publishing at age 16, with two rhyming poems in Cat Fancy. I'm happy to recite them up on request.

I teach for Laurel Springs School. Sometimes, I also get to teach for the Whidbey Writers Workshop M.F.A. Program. You can catch me leading workshops and eating too many chocolate chip cookies at writing conferences across the Pacific Northwest. I blog about travel with my family at Show Me the Monkey.

Coming in April 2016!


Thirteen-year old Solo Hahn boasts a big-screen TV, a room full of surfing trophies, and a beach house in Southern California. Then his father, worn down by a Hollywood career, attempts suicide, and his mother moves the family to a trailer in Oregon where a Great-horned owl kills his kitten. Solo tries to shoot the bird and injures a neighbor boy with Down syndrome. He’s forced to do community service at a local raptor rescue center.

Melissa Hart’s middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, April 2016) takes readers on a modern-day hero’s journey. The protagonist is a mercenary high school freshman who discovers unexpected courage and compassion in helping to rehabilitate birds of prey. Though Solo plans to run away, he’s reluctantly intrigued by his new environment and befriends his disabled neighbor and two college students who volunteer with him.

When his father vanishes, Solo depends on these friendships and on his growing passion for Oregon’s flora and fauna. His father returns with plans to move the family back to California. Bewildered, Solo flees to the raptor center with the neighbor boy and defends a Great-horned owl against a man who threatens to have her destroyed.

"Twin narratives skillfully woven together make for an exciting and endearing roller coaster of a memoir."
--Publisher's Weekly

at Powell's Books--Buy Here

or from your favorite online or indie bookseller!
Read an excerpt of Wild Within at the lovely online magazine,

The man who would become my husband asked me out on a first date to pick up 600 pounds of frozen rats and a live baby barred owl. Here's what happened next!

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