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Home > News & Events > Other Announcements > Humane Education Takes Flight With the Publication of Lucky!

Humane Education Takes Flight With the Publication of Lucky!

Lucky: Based on a True Story

Order Your Copy Today!

Only $19.95

100% of the proceeds benefit

avian welfare, rescue, and conservation.

More Information

Lucky Home


The Real Lucky

Lesson Plans & Activities


Lucky's MySpace

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MAARS is one of the founding organizations in the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) — a coalition of animal protection organizations, avian rescue groups, veterinarians, and conservation organizations. This month, the AWC is proud to announce the publication of Lucky, an educational children's book that gently awakens children to the plight of captive birds and birds captured in the wild.

This children's book — based on a true story — tells the story of Lucky, a parrot who is captured in the wild and eventually regains his freedom with the help of a young Indonesian boy.

Originally written in 2004, this much-awaited story is finally available to the public in this beautifully illustrated 32-page book, printed on recycled, chlorine-free paper to protect the environment and the world's forests.

What's more, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book benefits avian welfare, rescue, and conservation to help birds like Lucky!

Currently, there is a distinct absence of children's books that appropriately present the plight of the largest global population of captive wildlife: birds (especially parrots)! On the contrary, parrots are typically depicted as comedic characters confined to a cage in the corner of a living room, rather than living as wild animals in their natural habitats.

Lucky vividly and beautifully fills this void in children's literature and humane education. This is not only the perfect book for parents and educators to encourage children to be kind to animals, it also teaches valuable lessons about why wild animals belong in their native habitats.

The story is also a natural fit for a wider educational curriculum including Indonesian geography and culture, the natural history, behavior, and physical characteristics of parrots, tropical forest ecosystems, and real-life conservation efforts. The dedicated website,

incorporates all of these topics and is designed to engage children, parents, and educators in a variety of interactive, creative activities. In addition, children can meet the real Lucky in a narrated documentary video clip available on the website — truly a rare and intriguing opportunity!

The publication of the Lucky book was made possible through the support of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), ASPCA, Animal Welfare Trust, Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute, and MAARS.

We invite you to join us in celebrating Lucky and in helping to build a better world for birds!


Lucky: Based on a True Story


LUCKY: Based on a True Story


Publication Date: March 2009

ISBN: 978-0-615-19395-3

Cover Price: $19.95

Printing/Binding: The book is softcover, 32 pages with 14 original illustrations, "perfect bound," and printed on environmentally sensitive paper with soy-based ink.

Order Your Copy Today!

About the Author

Monica Engebretson is Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife with a minor in Environmental Ethics from Humboldt State University. She also serves on the boards of Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS) and the Avian Welfare Coalition and has twice traveled to Indonesia with the Indonesian Parrot Project.

About the Illustrator

Melodee Strong earned her B.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art & Design in Illustration, and she is completing her M.F.A. in Illustration from Hartford University. Currently, she teaches courses in painting, drawing, and illustration. Her illustrations have received awards from the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles and the Society of Illustrators New York. Melodee has illustrated eight other children's books, including titles Colorful World and the You Are Important series, both of which received 2009 Teachers' Choice Awards. (


"Lucky, Monica Engebretson's beautiful, moving book is a story that children will adore. Lucky is a not-so-lucky Lorikeet captured for the pet trade and sold as a gift to a little boy. But the boy's compassion, kindness, and perseverance bring back the bird's luck, and teach us all how what real love is — wanting what is best for others. I loved this book, and you and your children will too."

– Zoe Weil, President of Institute for Humane Education and author of Above All, Be Kind, Most Good, Least Harm, and the children's books, Claude and Medea and So, You Love Animals. (

"Wild parrots are no different than other wild birds. They love freedom. They are not meant to live in captivity. Unfortunately, many people have trouble grasping this fact. Monica Engebretson's wonderful story Lucky should go a long way toward changing this misperception among young people. She clearly knows wild parrots. I can see and feel their familiar, magical ways throughout her story. Highly recommended."

– Mark Bittner, author of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. (

"Often a story about an individual animal can make a difference in the lives of the humans who read it and the animals with whom they interact. Lucky is one such tale, about a bird — a beautiful rainbow lorikeet — named Lucky who was captured, taken care of by a young boy named Kersen, and then released because Kersen came to realize that keeping Lucky as a pet and depriving him of his freedom was wrong. As Lucky flew away with a flock other lorikeets Kersen shouted, 'I love you Lucky and I understand.' Kersen continued taking care of other unfortunate captive birds until they could fly to freedom. Lucky presents an inspirational win-win situation for all the beings involved, human and nonhuman. Thanks to Monica Engebretson for sharing this story with us."

– Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado; author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, Animals Matter, and How Animals Play: Rules of the Game and editor of the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare and the Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships. ( and

About the Avian Welfare Coalition

Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC), a working alliance of veterinarians, conservationists, avian welfare, and animal protection organizations dedicated to the welfare of parrots and other captive exotic birds exploited by the multi-billion dollar pet and wildlife industries. The mission of the AWC is to raise awareness about the plight of parrots and other captive birds and to serve as an educational resource for the humane community, lawmakers, and the general public. The AWC also aims to prevent the abuse, exploitation, and suffering of captive birds, to address issues of rescue, placement, and sanctuary for displaced birds, to increase legal protections for captive birds and to support legitimate conservation programs aimed at preserving birds' rightful place in the wild. (


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