Emily, who often retreats to her treehouse where she shuts out the real world and remains ""close to her birds,"" is an intriguing, odd child-- on the precocious side. Her singular life is complicated to a worrisome degree when she escues and tames a young sparrow hawk. As Romeo, the hawk, grows, Emily's father goes out on the farm daily and kills a bird for him. Emily struggles with her conflicting thoughts: she doesn't want other birds to be killed, but she can't give up er Romeo. In the end she does, however, and he wings off to find his Juliet. It is an interesting story of a child's approach to life-- she worries about her gangly body and pitiful soul; it's a study of parent-daughter relationship which undergo evere strain but survive. Emily appears as a sensitive, literate youngster. Unfortunately for reader identification, how she got that way is not part of the story.