Wesley the Owl (Digital Audiobook)
The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
Publication Date: December 7, 2008
On Valentine's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien met a four-day-old baby barn owl—a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing nineteen-year saga. With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet's ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O'Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home. Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together.
With both a tender heart and a scientist's eye, O'Brien studied Wesley's strange habits intensively—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl's lifetime). As Wesley grew, O'Brien snapped photos of him at every stage like any proud parent, recording his life from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, macho adult owl with a heart-shaped face and an outsize personality that belied his eighteen-inch stature. Stacey and Wesley's bond deepened as she discovered Wesley's individual personality, subtle emotions, and playful nature that could also turn fiercely loyal and protective—though she could have done without Wesley's driving away her would-be human suitors!
O'Brien also brings us inside the prestigious research community, where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animal they loved. As O'Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes important discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term "The Way of the Owl" to describe his inclinations: he did not tolerate lies, held her to her promises, and provided unconditional love, though he was not beyond an occasional sulk. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening illness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.
Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, nonhuman being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.
About the Author
Renee Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. A multiple Audie Award nominee, she has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber's Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC's One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC's Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn's Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009.