"Aisulu is a Kazakh nomad girl living in Mongolia. She has always been a bit different - she likes girl things well enough and milks the yaks and fetches water as a daughter should, but she also likes math and a fast ride on her horse, Moon Spot, that she tamed herself. But when her brother Selik breaks his leg trying to catch an eagle, and is discovered to have osteosarcoma, everything changes for Aisulu. Her parents rush off to the city with Selik, leaving Aisulu to tend the herds alone. She rescues the dead eagle's chick, moves in with her aunt and her uncle, a former Burkitshi (eagle hunger), and begins to tame the eaglet, which she names Toktar. Soon it becomes clear that Aisulu and Toktar have a special bond, and her uncles begins training her to become an eagle hunter herself, even though she is a girl, and girls do not become eagle hunters. Aisulu is not sure she can do it - but when she finds out that there will be a Festival, and foreigners (from ESPN, a crew filming "the weird sports") have provided a substantial prize, Aisulu changes her mind. The prize can buy her brother an expensive prosthetic leg and allow him to run and ride again. Her uncle begins training her, Toktar and Moon Spot and her aunt enlists the women to create a suitable and special outfit for the competition, something fit for a Burkitshi. The odds are stacked against her, but Aisulu is determined to prove herself and help her family."-- Provided by publisher.
Falconers -- Mongolia -- Juvenile fiction.
Falconry -- Mongolia -- Juvenile fiction.
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile fiction.
Kazakhs -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile fiction.
Mongolia -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile fiction.
Nomads -- Mongolia -- Juvenile fiction.
Teenage girls -- Mongolia -- Juvenile fiction.
Women hunters -- Mongolia -- Juvenile fiction.