It's a rare person in the remote town of Hunter's Gap who knows anything about journalism. M. Taylor Armstrong-Brown isn't from Hunter's Gap. She's only living there because Dad is an artist. Artists are eccentric. Dad needs room for his work, even if its among the rednecks of rural Pennsylvania. Taylor (aka Missy) understands this. She knows she's just killing time in the little dead end school in the little dead end town. She's really going away to a great prep school, then going to college to be better than all of this.
That's what Taylor thinks, anyway, but somehow, it's harder being the impartial journalist that she wants to be when she starts paying attention. There is the potential for pain -- injured hawks, hurting people, the feeling of abandonment she has when her mother leaves for the city every weekend, ditching her with her busy sculptor father and the endless woods of Hunter's Gap. When Taylor realizes she can't just separate people into categories lik"redneck" and "loony," the shackles start falling off all of her emotions, and she realizes that though sometimes it's scary and painful, it's always better to fly free.
Deborah Savage uses one part nature tale, and one part coming of age novel to create a great story with Summerhawk.