Melissa Hart
Author, Teacher, Speaker

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.

         Pre-order a copy of Avenging the Owl here!

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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'm a nonfiction instructor for the Whidbey Writers Workshop M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing.  I also teach high school Literature for Laurel Springs School. You can catch me leading workshops and eating too many chocolate chip cookies at writing conferences across the Pacific Northwest. I blog about owls, outdoor adventure, and other cool stuff at Northwest Nature Nerd.

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