The Capture (Guardians of Ga'hoole, Book 1)

by Kathryn Lasky

Paperback, 2003






Scholastic (2003), Paperback, 240 pages


The reader is introduced to Soren, a barn owl and the centerpiece of the series. When Soren is pushed from his family's nest by his older brother, he is rescued from certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for orphaned owls, St. Aggie's. When Soren arrives at St. Aggie's, he suspects there is more to the school than meets the eye. He and his new friend, the clever and scrappy Gylfie, find out that St. Aggie's is actually a training camp where the school's leader can groom young owls to help achieve her goal.


Original publication date


Physical description

240 p.; 5.28 inches


0439405572 / 9780439405577

User reviews

LibraryThing member ethanw.b1
The book starts with the forest of Tyto, where the main character is born. He is pushed off a tree by his brother Kludd, and taken by owls from another kingdom. He is now an orphan, along with several other owl. They are being moonblinked (brainwashed), and need to escape. He meets another owl, and the two of them avoid being moonbliked. They meet another owl, and when meet, they figure she hasn't been moonblinked either. They continue and eventually escape.

I rated this book 3 and a half stars, due to the fact. that it didn't really fascinate me all that much. I was told it was a good book on several accasions, and thought it was an exaggeration. Although, as the story progresses, the plot becomes better, and better. I didn't find it boring, but I didn't find it interesting. If you read the book and enjoy it, you would be on the side of most people. If you think it's alright, you would side with me on this.
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LibraryThing member Calwise
While on the surface a children's book, The Capture also displays a stark parallel between St. Aggie's and the Nazi Youth. This book (and most likely the series as a whole) is deeper than it may first appear.
LibraryThing member aethercowboy
In the first of her Ga’hoole series, a children’s fantasy series focused on the lives of various owls, Kathryn Lasky tells the tale of little Soren, a barn owl who falls from his nest before he is old enough to fly. He is kidnapped (owlnapped?) by some big surly horned owls, and brought to a strange school for orphaned owls, where the administrative staff and faculty proceed to brainwash the foundlings.

Soren, with the help of some other rebellious owls, make plans to escape as soon as they are able, and the broad multivolume franchise takes flight.

The book is a children’s book, which to some people, means that the quality of the narrative does not have to be as good as it would be if it were to target a larger, older audience. I found that while the narrative did lack the potent storytelling of a skilled narrator, the actual story being told was interesting, and managed to keep me intrigued until the very end, and quite possibly into the other books of the series, just to find out what all the mystery and intrigue were all about.

I did find it a bit annoying at times, though, when the author seemed to wedge every last fact about a certain type of owl into the prose. But, I suppose it was there to help kids learn more about owls, or to not feel like all that research went to waste.

While this book is not a masterpiece, it would almost certainly appeal to children, especially those who find denser books boring, and as well to those trying to learn more about this owl fantasy thing. For those trying to find the next Harry Potter or what have you, you might want to look further, as while both stories involve owls, the similarities end there.
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LibraryThing member DebbieMcCauley
Barn Owl Soren is born to a loving family living in the hollow of a fir tree in the forest of Tyto. As he grows, his father tells him stories about the special order of owls that live in the Great Ga’Hoole Tree and about the noble deeds they perform. One day, while his parents are out hunting, Soren is pushed out of the nest by his jealous older brother, Kludd. He is then snatched from the forest floor by a group of evil owls who deposit him at the dreadful St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. Soren can’t fly yet and tries to resist the Academy’s ‘moon blinking’ a form of brainwashing that compels the owls to take part in their evil plan to conquor the owl world. Soren realises that the Academy is really a prison. He plans his escape with the Elf Owl Gylfie and owls Twilight and Digger. Together they will try to find freedom. If they can escape they plan to go on a mission to find the Great Ga’Hoole Tree and warn the guardian owls of the Academy’s evil plot.

Lasky must be commended for her extensively research into the lives and habits of owls for the first book in this fantasy adventure series. The owls are pictured and named on the inside cover which is nice and there is a good map provided. The details of owls lives make it an interesting read but there are some brutal scenes so I would recommend this book for older children.
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LibraryThing member Zacswic
it is great because it has a lot of adventure.
LibraryThing member skstiles612
What do you get when you take an animal, in this case owls, mix in human characteristics and then send the owls on an adventure? You get Kathryn Lasky's, Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. The Capture is the first book in this series. I've had it on my list to read for a while but had not had a chance to read it. I am so glad I was offered the opportunity to review the book. The others in the series will soon be gracing my shelves as well. I am truly sorry I waited so long to read it.

Soren is a young barn owl who finds himself on the forest floor one night while his parents are away hunting. Only a few weeks old and still unable to fly, he knows the dangers that surround him and feels he probably won't survive the night. Suddenly he is scooped up and taken to St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. From the beginning he believes that something is not quite right with the academy. He befriends another owl named Gylfie who also shares this belief. He just needs to survive until the time he can fly. He also needs to avoid being moonblinked, or brainwashed. If he can manage to do all of this, then he might be able to escape and help the owl kingdom survive. He has learned that the academy's true purpose is to control all of the owl kingdoms on Earth.

It is refreshing to find a series where you can delve into a fantasy world yet learn some animal facts as you go along. I had to stop and remind myself that the characters were owls and not humans. The characters were well fleshed out, to the point I could decide who I liked and did not like, and why. The fantasy world they lived in was very believable. This is something that is important if we are to pull kids into a book.
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LibraryThing member Craikenaiken
Great series and I personally loved it. I would like to see it be read more becouse a lot happens to all of the characters in this series and some how they manage to survive. Soren is a character because you always kind of sense that he's the leader but he doesn't push his weight around and act superior.
LibraryThing member SandraKLee
Kathryn Lasky has won the Newberry Honor. This book is the first in a series of 15. It is available on CD and will come out as a movie in September of 2010.
LibraryThing member derek.lutes99
At the beginning of this book Soren has escaped St. Aegolius and is in search of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. When he gets to the tree his is put into a "chaw", or team. While inthe chaw he will focus on learning navigation and search and rescue. At the end of the book Soren has learned some new powers. Soren has learned that in time he may need his new powers.… (more)
LibraryThing member picolina
A great start to the series. Children will definitely be able to connect the the young owls' personalities and will be able to see courage in the owls' actions.
LibraryThing member derek.lutes99
At the beginning of this book, a barn owl named Soren is pushed out of his nest by his older brother. Soren is picked up and taken to St. Aegolius Academy for orphaned owls. While Soren is kept there he finds a way to keep from getting moonblinked. While learning how to fly, Soren escapes to warn his family of St. Aegolius.
LibraryThing member Lesliejaneite
Goodness and good golly I didn't expect to like this one so much. It turns out this little of unexpectedness was a real page turner for me. I can't wait to get the 2nd book in the series because it ended cliffhanger style. Had the 2nd book been in reach, I would have greedily snatched it up, tossed the first one over my head and began reading post haste.… (more)
LibraryThing member jd6
Soren who is an owl is very young and still cant fly.His mother has just laid another egg and it is about to hatch.They were having a good time until Soren's parents leave and his brother pushes him out of the hollow.Now he must survive and make friends at an evil school for brain washing
LibraryThing member reneemrobbins
I read The Capture to my 4th grade class. It was a very entertaining story for the students and provided them with enough action and sentiment to keep them engaged. I really enjoyed the story as well.
LibraryThing member tatertot84
The book “The Guardians Gahoole” is the story of a young barn owl named Soren. In his nest in a great tree, Soren is raised with his newly hatched sister Egglintian and his older brother Kludd by his loving parents and nest maid Mrs.Plither. Live was good until one day Soren was pushed out of the nest by Kludd for his jealousy. After he hit the ground, an eagle owl swooped up Soren and took him into a so called orphanage called St. Aggies. There he befriends an elf owl named Gilfy that stays with Soren during his confinement. Tens of thousands of owl chick are taken to St. Aggies and are meant to serve for them. To rid the owls of their names and thoughts, all are moon blinked by facing the moon while they are asleep. But Soren and Gilfy finds ways to resist the terror and remained unmoved owls. They are forced to pick items out of pellets and obtain flecks that are found inside all rodents that are used for secret proposes by St. Aggies. Gilfy and Soren soon fear that St. Aggies is enslaving owls and using the fleck to create a weapon that will destroy all owl kingdoms. But before they could get help from the so called guardians that could defeat them, they had to learn to fly. First they tried to work in the eggorium were they hatch stolen eggs because it’s the highest place in the canyon. An unmoon blinked owl named Hortens worked there and they hoped that she could teach them to fly. Unfortanaly, she was a DNF, designated not to fly, so she couldn’t teach them. Hortens was a spy and gave eggs to bald eagles that take the eggs back to their homes. But one night Hortens was caught and thrown off the edge of a cliff to her death. Then they both found an other owl named Grimble that could teach them. Once they befriended him, they exercise their wing muscles everyday so Soren and Gilfy could fly. When warm wind was predicted to flow through St. Aggies, Soren and Gilfy had to do it or stay even longer. Just as they were ready to go Grimble was caught and ripen in half by they owls of St. Agglies. Once they were off an intelligent great gray owl named Twilight befriends them and agrees to take them to their homes. But when they arrived at Soren’s home, the nest was empty. Twilight considered that they had gone to the guardians for help and decided to go there. Along the way, they met a barrowing owl named Digger that had was lost and had his brothers kidnapped by the St. Aggies patrol. After agreeing to follow the group, they were all attacked by one of St. Aggies patrols. Soren and his friends fought back hard and killed the fiends with all they had. After the battle they all agreed that they all will travel to the home of the guardians: the Great Gahoole Tree.

I’m glad I read this book. It contains a lot of detail that kept the story alive. I almost felt as if I was flying with Soren over St. Aggies canyon. It was almost as if I could see the full shine of the full moon claiming my thoughts. I could feel my talons ripping in to the flesh of the enemy while I force. I wish I could see the band of owls as they make their way to their destination. This is a very detailed book. If I was you, I would read it.
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LibraryThing member TiffanyHickox
After about 5 chapters I was hooked! The dystopian society and the kidnapping of baby owls and the crazy sci-fi feel of the "orphanage" and the militant, brainwashing and begining of revolt - all with a bunch of owls! Wonderful! can't wait to read the others :-)
LibraryThing member bilja
"Once upon a time, before there were kingdoms of owls, in a time of ever-raging wars, there was an owl born in a country of the Great North Waters and his name was Hoole."
Soren begins to tell the Legend of Ga'hoole to his little firnd Gylfie will trienging to avoid the moon blinking as they are captive in St.Aggie's. Inspired by the legend the two manage to learn to fly, escape and make new friends.
There are many ways to read this book, many themes are on the plate, firendship, freedom, hope, belief and the never ending war between good and evil. Coming along it happens to learn a big deal about owls. Quite a lot for a little children's book.
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LibraryThing member matt.rocha0505
This book is the first book in the guardians of GAHOOLE series. This books' main character is Sorean a owlet. He is taken from his home to a place far away with out his parents? With his new friend Gilfie they plain to escape their prison to find the guardians.

I like this book a lot it has a lot of intense moments in it. THis book is good for all ages that could read good. It's a quick read book so it doesn't take to long to read. This is the best book ever.… (more)
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
This tells the story of Soren's experience with Gylfie when they are both kidnapped and how they do their best to survive the experience of being kidnapped and the attempted brainwashing.

I saw this as a film a while ago and really enjoyed it, the book is slightly different and while there are some details that don't make it into the film, the film expands on some of the details to make the story a different experience. I enjoyed them both and look forward to more in the series.… (more)
LibraryThing member ladypembroke
Finally finished reading this book to my son tonight. Amazing story. A joy to read out loud to him because the writing was very evocative and full of great imagery. I don't want to spoil any of the story, but I really liked the way everything went. There are a few surprises along the way, and if you read this book, be prepared for heartbreak. Lasky holds no punches when dealing with the storyline and all the repercussions.… (more)
LibraryThing member Yona
This started out a little questionable. The writing was more like a read aloud for the youngest readers or preschoolers, which would be fine but not what I was expecting or hoping for in this case. That quickly changed though as soon as the author got into the story and it became a very fun, exciting adventure. Good characters and story and a very cool ending that set up the next book and had me all smiles and excitement. Maybe not four stars but in the range to round up.… (more)
LibraryThing member falynkology
Full with action at every turn, it won't become dull.Filled with devotion and betrayl.
LibraryThing member jmoncton
This is an audiobook that I would give 3 stars for the story, but 2 stars for the audio narration. The plot behind this story is fine. Soren, a young barn owl, is pushed out of the nest by a scheming brother and kidnapped. He is taken to the St. Aegolius Academy, where baby owls are brainwashed and used as slave labor by an evil organization that seeks to take over the owl kingdoms. The story is fast paced and creative, but I found the audio narration annoying. Most of the characters in this story are young owls, but the forced high pitch voices seemed - well, forced and high pitched. Great story, but one that I might need to read in print.… (more)
LibraryThing member lg4154
I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this book directly from the publisher. It is a very quick read and I liked it allot. You can definitely tell that the author knows a lot about different types of owls. I am really excited to see the movie, now after reading the book.
LibraryThing member Robinsonstef
Soren is home in his nest high in the forest. He may only be an owlet, but he's learning so much form his parents and it won’t be too much longer before Soren knows how to fly. For now, he loves talking with his little sister, though his older brother is a bit of a grump. One night when his parents are off hunting, Soren’s thrust out of the nest and lands on the forest floor. He thinks his life is over and that he’ll be dinner for a larger animal. But then the owls come and seem to rescue him, only they’re not rescuing him. Soren realizes they are capturing him. He is taken to St. Aggie’s and he meets Gilfey almost immediately. They become fast friends, and it isn’t long before they start to realize that something very bad is going on there. Owls are made to chant their names over and over again. Each is also assigned a new number to go by and questions are forbidden. The leaders of St. Aggie’s force all the young owls to stand in the light of the full moon for three nights straight. This can cause a lot of damage to owlets and Soren and Gilfey worry they’ll forget who they are and what they believe. They haven’t even learned how to fly and it’s forbidden at St. Aggie’s. Is there any way that they can escape? Being sent to separate places to work makes it even harder for them to devise a plan. Can they come up with something that will work? You’ll have to read this interesting fantasy story to find out!

I recently saw a trailer for the movie The Guardians of Ga’Hoole and it made me curious about the books. I decided to pick up the first one in the series, The Capture by Kathryn Lasky. I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend because the narrator did a wonderful job with the different voices and bringing the story to life. I like the friendship between Soren and Gylfie. Both characters have their strengths, and I think they do a great job supporting each other. Being at Saint Aggie’s sounded scary to me, so I could understand why they wanted to leave. I felt nervous for them about the dangerous situation they were in, but enjoyed reading the story from the owls’ points of view. It would be a perfect read for anyone in fourth grade and up who likes a story with a variety of characters and a more complex plot. Since listening to the first book in the series I have already finished the next three. I’m waiting for book five to arrive at the library. I thought there were eight books in the series- but just heard there are sixteen. I am looking forward to reading more of the series- but with that number of books it could take a while.
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