Freedom Is For The Birds

Book Cover



JM Sutherland

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A novel of animal fiction, written from the animal's POV. It is a riveting, heartwarming, thought-provoking story about a family of red-tailed hawks that challenges and changes how you see all life. 2017 Book Excellence Award Winner, Sustainability Category; 2019 Canada Book Award Winner


Fantasy, Romance, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Epic, Family,,Adventure,Drama,Epic,Family

Short Summary

The pair of red-tailed hawks finish their spring migration to clutch their eggs, only to find their hunting territory and nesting site has been demolished. The story follows their daily lives of living & raising their family in a world of humans.

The male juvenile hawk (along with his dragon-fly companion), against the odds, makes it to the Hawk Naming Ceremony, where he is finally reunited with his family. Very happy ending! The additional Epilogue finishes the dragon-fly's migration.


The Rocky Mountains, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, through the US, and then into Mexico.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

,Nature overcoming human society,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age, Happy Ending, Meaningful Message, Philosophical Questions, Twist,,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Hawk Family - K'Lar, D'Ree, Kmal & Kmin

Age: Adults - 12, offspring less than 1

Gender: Other

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aggressive, Charming, Engaging, Funny, Gracious, Naive, Strong Moral Code, Clumsy, Faithful, Honorable, Insecure, Aspiring, Confident, Outspoken, Selfless, Adventurous, Badass, Heroic, Obedient, Perseverance, Underdog,Engaging,Gracious,Honorable,Underdog,Educated,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Visionary,Romantic,Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: hawk friend, a pair of humans, entire animal class for school, hawks at rehabilitation center & couple more humans, dragon-fly friend, King of Hawks.

Age: hawk friend - elder, humans - 60s, animal class - less than 1, other hawks - various, other humans - various, dragon-fly - 5, Hawk King - 30

Gender: Other

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Heroic, Aspiring, Outspoken, Modest, Skillful, Adventurous, Complex, Engaging, Educated, Leader, Romantic, Selfless, Aggressive, Blunt, Confident, Underdog, Honorable, Perseverance, Strong Moral Code, Funny, Charming, Clumsy, Faithful, Beautiful, Flexible, Visionary, Gracious, Insecure, Obedient,Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heroic,Honorable,Underdog,Modest,Selfless,Outspoken,Skillful,Funny,Visionary,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Clumsy

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

Exerts from Michael Thal's review says it best: Thus begins J.M. Sutherland’s wonderful saga, Freedom is for the Birds, a book that should be required reading by every human being. As the book evolves, we begin to understand a sophisticated hawk society based on respect for others, themselves, and Mother Nature... Freedom is for the Birds is a fantasy with animals talking to each other and even attending classes together led by wise old owl, Griffin. Sutherland takes literary liberties to show her human audience the hawk perspective of the life they are endured to live due to mankind’s tragic housekeeping ways. No reader will walk away from this novel without feeling a deeper respect for the other organisms that inhabit our world.

About The Author

I am an animal rights advocate, and an award-winning, indie author. I believe in speaking up for the animals that can't do so for themselves or are ignored when they try. That has never been more important than now, given our pressing issues of habitat and environmental destruction, as well as wildlife conservation.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,13-17,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

All nature and animals lovers and advocates, conservationists, environmentalists, any group interested in animal rights.

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Mills City Press

Year Published: 2014

Hard Copy Available