The Journey (Guardians of Ga'hoole, Book #2)

by Kathryn Lasky

Paperback, 2003



Local notes

PB Las




Scholastic (2003), Edition: Reissue, 256 pages


The Great Ga'Hoole tree is a mythic place where Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger seek to find the means to fight the evil that infects the kngdom. There they will be tested in ways they never dreamed, but there they can learn to become true Ga'Hoolian owls--brave, wise, honest, true.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

256 p.; 5.25 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member The_Hibernator
This is a cute story about some young owls learning be adventurers and to save the owl world. Although I laughed when I read the previous review (below) saying that this is the Harry Potter of owls, I actually agreed after I read the book. Although there are most certainly some very original
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concepts in this book, the types of issues they deal with in their owl school are very similar to those in Harry Potter. On the other hand, it is a juvenile book, and therefore tends to cover the types of issues familiar to a child.

I prefer books that are for a slightly older audience...although the world Lasky invents is quite cute and original, she does tend to be a little too educational at times.

I recommend this book to 3rd or 4th graders, and people who love simple (unsophisticated) children's books. I definitely plan on reading more of this series.
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LibraryThing member sublunarie
I read the first Guardians of Ga’hoole series around the same time I began reading Erin Hunter’s Warriors series. The first book was enjoyable, and by the time I’d finished it, the film adaptation, Legend of the Guardians, had been released. The film is a condensation of the first three
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Guardians books, and I do really love it.

The series began as our main character, Soren, is brutally pushed from his next by his older brother. As Soren had yet to learn to fly, he is stranded. He ends up being capured by rogue owls and brought to St. Aggies, a place they call a school but is really a prison for young owls who are “moonblinked” (brainwashed) and forced to do hard labor. Eventually Soren and his companion Gylfie successfully break out of St. Aggies. Their next goal is to find the the Great Ga’hoole Tree, which is usually only ever mentioned in legend and fairy tales.

In The Journey, Soren and his friends quite quickly find the tree and are recruited to become Guardian trainees themselves. In fact, everything in this book moves quite quickly. Chapters are short and end abruptly. Harrowing dangers are averted before you’ve even had a chance to register that they’ve flown to a different place. The writing feels unhinged and choppy, as if the author was forced to write as quickly as possible to meet a deadline (and as there are now 15 books in the series, 15 written in 5 years, I think that’s probably very likely). The drama and connection with the characters is completely gone and new characters are introduced so quickly that you don’t have a chance to connect with them at all.

I was extremely disappointing in this volume of the Ga’hoole series, and I have no intention of continuing with book number 3. I have the film on blu-ray, and that’s going to be enough for me with these owls.
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LibraryThing member TiffanyHickox
The second installment in the Gaurdian of Ga'Hoole series was every bit as good, if not better, than the first. The author is very imaginative, and while the book is appropriate for juvenile readers, it is one that will appeal to any reader of fantasy and fan of alternate realities/societies.

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story is beginning to develop in depth and complexity as the characters in the book begin to take on their own depth as well. It is evident that the books to come will be filled with excitement and adventure.
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LibraryThing member Dranea
The journey of Soren and his band of friends continues in The Journey. (kinda fitting, don't you think?) But things just never seem to be going as well for Soren as he would like. His family is still missing, he knows his brother tried to kill him, he knows he will never see his sister again, and
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he gets stuck with a creepy instructor. Yea...the great Hoole empire is not quite what Soren was hoping for. Excitement! Adventure! Rescues! That is what this place is all about, isn't it? All the stories talk about the daring rescues, the heroic battles, and the innocence protected - not once did they mention studying and annoying female brown-nosing owls! Soren and his friends must learn what it takes to be a real hero before they can ever try to be one.

This is a great continuation of the Ga'Hoole story. I know I am WAY too old to be reading these books, but after I saw the movie, I just HAD to read them. And, as in almost any situation, the book(s) prove far superior to the movie - even if I still love the movie! The detail and depth these books can provide can never been shown on screen, unless this was done in a VERY long series.

The personalities of our favorite owls are becoming more and more pronounced the further into this we go. The Others are still the creepy figure I think we have all come to recognize, and this "other threat that is worse than St. Aggies" is becoming more sinister. OOHHH boy! Things are heating up, and it's not just because of the forest fires! We get to meet more owls this time through; however, none of these are in the book long enough (besides the teachers and Madam Plonk) for us to really get to know them greatly. I'm sure in the next few books, I will love them as much as I adore Gylfie.

I really like how the author did not feel the need to rush these books. As a younger YA series, authors tend to try to hurry things up for fear the children will lose interest. Because she did not do this, these books can be enjoyed by anyone. They are very quick, light and easy reads for the adults (albeit very enjoyable reads), and I intend to continue to read them all until I finish the series. I am hooked - I admit it! I'm secure enough in myself to fully announce to the world, I am a Ga'Hoole-aholic....and I will get my fix until there is no more. Now, the journey must continue....
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LibraryThing member aethercowboy
The Journey, by Kathryn Lasky, is the second book in her children’s series about owls. In this book, the protagonist, Soren, and his three close friends, all owls, travel to the legendary Great Ga’Hoole Tree, which, as far as those they pass along the way, is merely the stuff of legends.

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book is very much like its predecessor, which is to say, the plot is somewhat interesting, but the narrative does not do it justice. However, due to the law of diminishing returns, a lot of the same stuff isn’t always good, even if it is “comfortable.”

In this book, it seemed Lasky got more annoying the the Owl Vocabulary Lessons, in which an unusual word is introduced, because that’s just the word owls use for that sort of thing, and from then on out, it’s used in every other sentence, or at least, it seems that way. It does get annoying.

In addition, the character Twilight’s chants/songs are really annoying, too.

In the end, this book was nothing spectacular, and probably wouldn’t be of great interest to a reader whose tastes include more recognized children’s fantasy authors. In the end, if you’re looking for something you could zip through in about a day (or a week, if you pace yourself), then this book may be good. Otherwise, read something a bit better.
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LibraryThing member emmamccutcheon16
Great! I highly recomend to see the movie AFTER you read the book.
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Digger go on their quest for the Great Ga'Hoole Tree hoping that this will help them to fight the evil they have left behind and maybe save Soren's little sister. They have to learn how to become a member of the community of the Great Ga'Hoole tree and how to be the best
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owls they can be.

Interestingly this one explains that the humans have disappeared, leaving some buildings behind. You can see the troupe grow and start to think and plan. I'm looking forward to where this is going.
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LibraryThing member Yona
This is turning out to be a really good series. The characters are pretty complex and the story is developing at a very interesting pace. There are so many things that are a part of this second book that I'm sure are setting up pieces of the story line to come. I'm anxious to continue and am quite
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sure I'll go through the whole series. It hasn't had nearly the effect of the Dreamdark series or the Inkworld series but I'm very pleased and it's still quite early. Each of the 15 books here are much shorter.
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LibraryThing member AngelaRenea
It took me a while to finish this book because I took a break, but I am liking this series more than I thought I would. It seems to be aimed at a younger generation than me, but it still merits a solid 3 stars. I really enjoyed that there is a subtle political story line to the main quest/good v
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evil that the heroes are on. I will be reading at least the next one, and let's be honest, probably the rest too!
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LibraryThing member Mirandalg14
A little better than the first, but still just ok.
LibraryThing member PhyllisHarrison
A strange little book with some details on the habits of owls. It seems like a first or second grade Harry Potter wanna-be about owls but without the soul or intelligence of the Harry Potter books. I honestly didn't know what to think of it. Having been a teacher for a time, I don't know if I would
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read it to a child or or give it to him or her to read. I prefer more inspiring books for young minds. The drawings are excellent and possibly I missed a lot by picking up a book in the middle of the series. It seemed very dark and depressing to me, without much hope of anything more than mere survival. The characters seem always to be fighting for their lives in a world full of dark and evil, except for the good "people" who seem to be characterized as boring or nit-picky. In a world with more than enough bad news to go around, I prefer books, especially for children, with some hope to nourish and encourage the soul.
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LibraryThing member Erika.D
Couldn't put it down
LibraryThing member barbarasbooks
Harry Potter of owls. Owls are selected to do different jobs. where owls are a very elite group of birds, proud and separate from the other animals. In no time, the reader is caught up in a story where both dreadful and wonderful things happen. As Soren struggles to understand his new environment,
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he slowly begins to learn that there is more to life than just what he sees, hears and touches. Soren's realization about his own abilities is an exceptionally strong and powerful element in THE JOURNEY. There is also the discovery by the owls that live in the Great Ga'Hoole Tree that something truly dreadful is happening to the baby owls in the Southern Kingdoms. We are left hanging, wanting to know what this evil is, and at the same time fearing for the welfare of these owls. from Amazon
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LibraryThing member VhartPowers
Read aloud to my child. We found there were lots to talk about while Soren discovered different things about himself.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
I did not read the first book in the series. This book was on the book exchange shelf and looked interesting, so I picked it up. I think reading the first book in this series might have made it easier to figure out the various owl characters. (Trust me, you will learn a lot about different owls,
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though sometimes it is hard to tell what is true in our world and what is the author's creation.)

In one sense, it reminded me of another YA series a friend's children have read (The Ranger's Apprentice). There's a group of friends who eventually get selected to go into avenues of study that hone their skills--different skills for each one--yet who will probably still interact with each other (and I'm suspecting eventually combine all their various skills into one important mission).

I like the friendship between the various types of owls (though I don't know in nature if owls of different species congregate together). I like that they've formed their own "family" and that they recognize different strengths and weaknesses in each other and try to help each other out.

I don't know if the owls are supposed to be "magical"--I went back and forth on this. I am hoping not. I would prefer to see a scientific basis behind the owl enclave etc. (However, I did see another reviewer indicate that future books emphasize the magical more than this book did.)

Some of the subject matter of the book reminds me a bit of the original Star Trek--which tried to tackle societal problems that might normally be taboo for television but were able to be written into a science fiction set in the future script. I'm not sure how successful this is in this series though.

Owls view themselves as the "best"--particularly compared to other birds that they call "wet poopers". (Apparently the author's attempt at bathroom humor to cater to her YA audience.) which comes across as "racism"--and it extends even to the teachers/leaders of the owl clan which is a bit disheartening. I could understand if the younger owls thought this and had to be taught the value of other bird species--and perhaps events in future books will address this issue, but it's not addressed here.

There are bad/evil owls who capture and mistreat other owls which could be a take on bullying--I have more faith that this will be addressed in the series than I do the previous issue. I also saw another reviewer mention cannibalism as one of the issues that they wondered about in the series.
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