Scottish osprey make a treacherous journey twice a year, all the way to Scotland to mate and lay eggs and tend their chicks, then back, across the Pyrenees mountains and the Sahara desert, to spend the winters in Africa. As if that weren't enough, people pay thousands of dollars for an osprey egg, so even when they've completely their journey safely, there's no guarantee that someone won't steal the eggs before they're able to hatch. So when Callum McGregor's classmate, Iona McNair, tells him that there are osprey making a nest on Callum's family's land, the two swear to keep it secret from everyone, and to do everything in their power to keep the osprey--who they've named Iris--and her chicks safe. When Iris is injured, a ranger on the nature preservation comes and saves her, and is even able to tag her before they release her back into the wild, so Callum and Iona can track her. Iona becomes ill before Iris leaves, and Callum, trying to keep his promise to her, checks in on Iris almost obsessively. When Iris's signal vanishes entirely, in The Gambia, Callum even emails a bunch of people near her location to try to get them to search fro her. The contact he makes, with a Gambian girl his own age, will change both of their lives completely, and touch thousands more.
Wow, so, there's a lot going on in this book. When I think about it, it's seems like too much--to many threads, too much plot, but in the reading, I didn't even realize it. This is a beautiful book, with gorgeous art and a wonderful, touching story.