Godhanger by Dick King-Smith

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There is terror in Godhanger Wood. With each passing day, another animal falls prey to the bloodthirsty gamekeeper, and another corpse is nailed to his gibbet. As the death toll rises, it seems that nothing can save the creatures of Godhanger. But there is one who brings new hope: the Skymaster, a mysterious and mighty bird who appears suddenly on a winter's day. His followers speak of his strange powers and listen faithfully to his wise words. Gentle yet formidable, the Skymaster is determined to stop the gamekeeper for good. But to do so, he may have to make the greatest sacrifice of all.

Dick King-Smith breaks dramatic new ground in this novel for older readers--an unflinching and allegorical look at life in the wild.

About Dick King-Smith

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Dick King-Smith was born on March 27, 1922 in Bitten, Gloucestershire, England. He was a farmer and a schoolteacher and he also served in the Grenadier Guards during World War II. King-Smith has written over 100 children's books including The Fox Busters and The Sheep Pig (aka Babe-The Gallant Pig), which was adapted as the 1995 film Babe. The 1995 TV miniseries The Queen's Nose was also based in one of his books. King-Smith was voted Children's Author of the Year at the 1992 British Book Awards. Jean Craighead George won a Newbery Medal for her novel Julie of the Wolves. Acclaimed artist Andrew Davidson's wood engravings for Ted Hughes' The Iron Man won the Kurt Maschler Award.
Published February 16, 1999 by Knopf Books for Young Readers. 154 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror. Fiction

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The creatures of Godhanger Wood go about, as is their nature, feeding on the helpless and unwary, keeping an eye out for the hunter ironically dubbed “the gamekeeper.” Meanwhile, on a great cedar of Lebanon perches the golden-feathered Skymaster, dispensing wisdom and cryptic warnings to the 12 b...

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Publishers Weekly

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Far less accessible than King-Smith's animal-centered novels targeted at younger readers (Babe: The Gallant Pig; Harriet's Hare), this heavy-handed allegory set in hierarchical Godhanger Wood features

Feb 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Godhanger

Publishers Weekly

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Readers who move beyond a sequence of these violent scenarios come to the story's larger focus: Skymaster tells Loftus, the most trusted of his ""12 followers"" about his birth, which was followed by a visit from three birds carrying offerings and led by ""strange lights"" in the sky to locate th...

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