Tobias has pretty much gotten used to his life. He's a red-tailed hawk with the mind of a kid. It was weird when he first got trapped in morph. But now it's almost okay. After all, how many kids actually get the chance to fly?

Now Tobias is about to make a very special choice. A choice that the other Animorphs and Ax know nothing about. And it could mean the difference between being a hawk...and being human...


Released: November 1997
Pages: 162
Cover Art by David B. Mattingly

Front Cover (Hi-Res)Front Cover
Inside Cover (Hi-Res)Inside Cover



Inside Cover German Cover  
U.S. Inside Cover
German Cover
French Cover  



  • ANIBASE: K.A. on why she chose a red-tailed hawk morph for Tobias to be trapped in:

    "Tobias' form was chosen because red-tails are among the most common hawks in the US. I liked thinking that kids driving with their folks across Kansas or wherever would daydream that they were seeing Tobias. Probably should have made him a turkey buzzard, they're so ubiquitous. I knew right from the start I would trap Tobias in morph, by the way, never a doubt. Had to be. I knew it would drive some readers crazy, but I also knew they'd want to know more."

  • ANIBASE: Orson Watch: You can find a picture of cover artist David B. Mattingly's beloved cat, Orson, on a shelf in the picture of Tobias's room, standing in for Tobias' own cat, Dude.
  • The re-gifting of Tobias's morphing power isn't openly discussed amongst the Animorphs in this book (or in any of the future books for that matter), aside from him letting the others know in battle that he can morph again. It is assumed that Tobias later filled the group on what happened with him and the Ellimist 'off-screen'.
  • This book marks the first time where the Hork-Bajir race is free from the Yeerks since their fall in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles. The events in this book leads to the free Hork-Bajir colony and the rebirth of their seer (Toby, in HBC's epilogue), as they live in a secret hidden valley in mountains, hidden from both the Yeerks and the Humans as they rebuild their race and way of life.
  • FAQ: Tobias receives his morphing power back from the Ellimist in this book and is able to acquire his former self the night before he left for the construction site in #1. One of the most asked questions by fans is that why didn't Tobias just trap himself into his human self and get the morphing power back once they got the Escafil Device in #20: The Discovery. This is a debatable topic, however, they are 2 likely answers:

    1. The most common answer is that the Escafil Device just doesn't work that way. Once a morphing power is given, it can't be given again to the same person, even if they are trapped as a nothlit in another form. The fact that the Ellimist returned Tobias's morphing power is an anomaly in itself, and a one-time opportunity, which cannot be repeated again unless it's from the Ellimist or a higher being such as him.

    2. Tobias did not wish to go back to being human because he had nothing to go back to. He never had a home his entire life, because he was always passed back and forth between his relatives. And although unconfirmed, it is highly likely that Tobias accidentally being trapped as a hawk wasn't an accident at all, but done on purpose as a means to escape his human life in the first place.

      It backs the reason as to why the Ellimist here gives Tobias what he wants the most: to be able to morph and join the Animorphs in the fight, not to permanently return being human, even though he still gives him the chance to discourage his past self, and another chance by letting him acquire his older self to permanently return as a human if he so wished.
  • Continuity Note / Reading Order: This book was published at the same time as The Andalite Chronicles, but both can be read before the other, without any harm in understanding the continuity. However, it is much preferable to read The Andalite Chronicles first, as it will give you a better idea of why the Ellimist takes a special interest to Tobias in this book and in the series, and how Tobias's situation here quite ironically also mirrors Elfangor's life when the Ellimist deals with him first.

    The most specific thing being that both Elfangor and Tobias (father and son) took advantage of the morphing power's time limit as a means to permanently escape their original lives, and both times the Ellimist had to "not interfere" to give them a second chance, by putting them back into the fight.


ANIBASE: This book introduces us to two new characters, Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak. A Hork-bajir couple, these two are the first to run from the Yeerks. With the help of the Animorphs they are safely transported to a secret, hidden valley where they become the first of the Free Hork-Bajir. They begin to slowly free other Hork-Bajir, building up a nice colony. You can read more about Hork-Bajir in general and of the birth of Jara and Ket's first child in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles.

Jake None.
Rachel Hork-Bajir (Jara Hamee)
Cassie None.
Marco None.
Tobias Raccoon, Hork-Bajir (Ket Halpak), and Human (himself)
Ax None.
Visser Three None.


The Hork-Bajir word for "fail".

The Hork-Bajir word for "thank you".

Fit Fit
A tree on the Hork-Bajir home world.

The Hork-Bajir word for "Andalite".

The Hork-Bajir word for "wife".

A tree on the Hork-Bajir home world.

The Hork-Bajir word for "children".

A tree on the Hork-Bajir home world.




The morph for this book was also animated by David B. Mattingly, as part of the Sanctuary Screensavers. These were exclusive to all fans of the club for a limited amount of time.

Download this Sanctuary Screensaver, or
Watch it as a clip (will load on left).



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A big credit to Jeff Sampson for helping build and write the Anibase, which provided much of the inside information towards the series.

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