Rereading: THE FISH HAWK’S NEST by Stephen W. Meader

Illustrated by Edward Shenton

Andy Corson and his family live in rural Cape May County, NJ, and the year is 1820. They farm some land, but Andy likes to go fishing whenever he can. Theirs and many farms have put up platforms for nesting Ospreys, locally called fish hawks, considering them good neighbors. When Andy’s father tells him he can visit the nearest barrier island, Seven Mile Beach, to check on the cattle they keep there in the summer, he and his dog Shep are off in their sailing skiff in no time. On the island, Andy and Shep find troubling evidence that one of their cows has been killed, cut up, and roasted in a bonfire on the beach by unknown sailors, who Andy thinks were from a foreign ship smuggling goods to someone nearby to avoid tariffs. Andy suspects an irritable neighbor, Mr. Gillen, who seems to suddenly have a lot of spending money and is often traveling to Philadelphia, but how can he prove it? Before long, clues begin to surface, and soon Andy is caught by the smugglers, who threaten to carry him off and leave him on a desert island!

A fine read, and interesting to me especially because I live in the area described, but any reader can enjoy this book. Recommended.

The Fish Hawks Nest by Stephen W Meader

2 thoughts on “Rereading: THE FISH HAWK’S NEST by Stephen W. Meader

  1. Amy

    A childhood favorite author!

    It’s how my family learned that cattle had been kept on the barrier islands. Of course that was *after* we’d kicked the cow skull a cousin had found in the muck off our dock back into the bay… We had always wondered how it had gotten there. Oops.

    My grandmother once met Meader’s sister at the grocery store, but I never followed through with a meeting.

  2. Amy

    And _Topsail Island Treasure_ was an annual summer re-read: Real pirates (albeit theory rather than fact), and a main character who lived on the refuge and was a budding bird artist…

    Hindsight is always 20/20; I really should have at the very least written the author while he was still alive to tell him that not only his books were still being read and enjoyed but that *girls* liked them too. (They were published in/for that era of Boys Adventure stories.)

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