A 13 year old Cro-Magnon boy learns that genuine manhood is not found through initiation rites, but through his heroic quest to acquire a spear-thrower.
Cowley's archaeologically accurate story begins with Dar nervously awaiting his initiation to manhood. While emptying his Uncle Kernok's traps he meets a stranger with a remarkable tool. The smallish man uses it to hurl a spear with shocking force, exceeding that of powerful Kernok. Once the initiation ceremony gives Dar his independence, he sets out to get a spear-thrower from the stranger's clan. Exciting moments, surprising connections and life affirming lessons bring Dar into a genuine, confident manhood.
A cleanly written, entertaining and educational anthology of the most outstanding medieval legends.
This anthology exemplifies medieval literature, in a form young readers can understand. The simplified stories are of heroism, of initiation to manhood, of fate and mystical forces. Some are fables and others are stories of justice. They are as much a learning experience *about literature* as they are literature themselves (this was scored as a Discovery work). Because the stories have plainly unbelievable elements, young readers can grasp that the ideals pursued should be seen as suspect.
Harold's world is a blank slate through which he learns to draw his own experiences, with a purple crayon.
Toddler Harold draws his way into a moonlit stroll in a world of his own design. Unexpected events –a too scary dragon, a tumble into water and getting lost– combine to make his walk exciting yet ultimately it remains a matter of his own design. Although he, literally, draws every scenario with his purple crayon, and saves himself from their difficulties. it is clear that the metaphor is not about whim, so much as design.
David's struggle to survive in the endless muskeg of the Canadian North shows intelligent determination and a pursuit of wise personal values for his maximum happiness.
Escaping his unhappy stepfather, David stows aboard a U.S. airplane at an Edmonton airport. David, unexpectedly, is bound for the same destination as a pair of rare whooping cranes flying to their nesting pond... in the Northwest Territories! Tragedy strikes both sets of travelers. David and his strange but valued companion must fight for their lives. This story of determination and intelligence in the face of ever growing difficulties, offers readers a great character and an excellent vocabulary.
Risking the Tsar's punishment for theiving, Pavel courageously saves a beautiful wolfhound, and receives an unexpected justice.
Pavel saves an enormous, half frozen dog. If he looks after it, his father is sure they would be punished by the Tsar for stealing, but he values its beauty and cannot leave it to die in the bitterly cold forest. Bravely seeking a solution, he discovers, in an unexpected way, that men of any social class are capable of justly acknowledging the good in others.
Stranded for eighteen years on an island off California, a native girl survives, fends off wild dogs and evades the murderous Aleuts
This story speculates on the life of Karana, an Indian girl left alone on an island near Southern California, when her tribe was moved to the mainland in the mid-1800s. For 18 years she hoped rescuers would re-unite her with her family. We follow her thoughts as she kept herself alive, solving the problems of building shelter and finding food, and even finding ways to be creative.
Jack's survival comes to depend on the happy perspectives that his vocabulary and literary wit offers others
At the orphanage, Jack used his wits to avoid trouble. Then, horrified by his assigned apprenticeship he ran, taking only his prize possession and source of ideas: an old dictionary. To survive he peddled 'ideas' in town markets, as "fresh air for the brain". In a town where one could find "more lively company in a crew of clams", its mayor set about arresting him! Ellis's marvelous wordings just might encourage your child to love words.
A young teen chooses to use wilderness survival skills to live alone for a year in the Catskill Mountains (New York State).
Sam was the youngest of nine children living in a cramped New York City apartment. He'd read about survival and knew his family still owned some land in the Catskills. Arriving in May with pocket knife, axe, cord, and flint & steel, he sets to practicing survival skills he'd only read about. His success, even through winter, provides confidence, but events in the story mainly showcase survival skills, rather than establish any real conflict.
Dora & friends use a definite plan of action to reach treasure.
The child reader 'helps' Dora reach a treasure chest. Using stickers and a simple map, a bridge, boat and the keys to a treasure chest are 'assembled'. The story includes "Swiper", a fox character that represents a child who 'swipes' toys. He is thwarted by a firm, but non aggressive, "Swiper, no swiping" command. Dora's positive and smart world is useful literature, but restricted to the same narrow formula.
Billy copes with the amusing problems and boyish adventures of having two owls as uncaged pets.
We are told, autobiographically, how Billy retrieves and makes pets of two owls. "Wol" was saved from a downed tree in a prairie wood, outside Saskatoon. "Weeps" was rescued from boyish brutality, in town. We learn how Wol scares off the maid, upsets Billy's teacher, scares off threatening, bigger boys and discovers he cannot swim. "Wol" even liked to ride on Billy's bicycle handle bars. It's a fun and easy read.