His best friend has moved away; his troubled classmate Billy Tucker who is the school’s number one bully picks on him, and his overprotective parents don’t believe he is responsible enough to have a dog! It’s no wonder fifth-grader Colin Masterson spends his afternoons lying on his back in his parents hay fields, watching a golden eagle flying free in the wide Montana sky.
During a difficult day at school Colin, the loner, finds his world invaded by the new girl in school; red-haired Janet Mitchell, who is bold and friendly and has the bluest eyes Colin has ever seen. Janet quickly befriends Colin and also helps him learn how to handle Billy Tucker while encouraging the two boys to sit together at lunch.
To his amazement, Colin likes Billy, and invites him to his house for a sleepover. When the two boys discover the eagle lying unconscious in a snow bank in Colin’s back yard one snowy afternoon they decide to try to nurse her back to health. Colin hopes his care of the injured bird will show his parents he is responsible enough for a pet of his own, but Colin’s plan backfires when his father finds out and grounds him by locking Colin out of the barn where the bird is kept. Not to be thwarted by his father’s heartless attitude and strict ways, Colin and Billy sneak out of the house and hike into the snow-covered hay fields in search of food for the eagle. Their attempt turns disastrous when they get lost in a blizzard, and the boys are unable find their way back to Colin’s house. Mr. Masterson finds them at the critical moment, but Colin ends up unconscious in the hospital, and his parents forbid him to ever go near the eagle again.Cassyashton Porter