A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

Set in a small mining town in England, the novel follows the life of a young boy who, despite his bleak surroundings and abusive family, finds solace and a sense of purpose in training a kestrel. He learns about falconry from a book he steals from his school library. His connection with the bird offers a brief respite from his harsh reality, but tragedy strikes when his brother kills the bird out of spite. The story ends with the boy forced to return to his grim reality, with his only source of happiness gone.

The 1833rd greatest book of all time

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