Rejected by the tribe for his club foot, Tao's success as a cave artist depended on choosing between his tribe's mystical traditions and the truth of his own experience.
Tao knew his life was forever in the balance. His mother's shocking fight —against the elders and tribal custom— had saved her only child from being thrown to the hyenas. Despite his club foot, he grew to be quick and nimble. As an outcast he often violated tribal taboos. He befriended a wolf, hunted in the swamp of demons, and loved to draw animals —a taboo punishable by death! Could a low ranked and deformed youth survive, to become a cave painter? How is the battle between natural knowledge and religion & authority different today?
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.
When her widowed father advertises for a wife, Anna anxiously watches for signs that Sarah Wheaton’s visit to their prairie farm will fulfill her hopes for family harmony.
Anna's mother died after Caleb's birth, and the singing on their isolated prairie farm ended. When Papa advertised for a wife, Sarah came to visit, from Maine. And, Sarah sang! Would Sarah stay or would she return to the sea she missed? Dialogue keeps Sarah's uncertainty explicit, but MacLachlan's use of subtle action shows a growing relationship between Papa and this new woman. The contrast creates tension and encourages deeper comprehension from young readers.
The beauty and mystery of life and art are brought together when a little girl presents lily bulbs to Emily, and in return receives a poem and a wish for understanding: "Perhaps in time they both will bloom."
Mother's piano playing captivates "Myth", the recluse across the street, who invites her to play. It's spring and the little girl has set lily bulbs on her windowsill. When Mother visits Myth, the little girl comes too, dress pockets bulging. On arrival we learn Myth's real name is Emily. Emily hides upstairs, calling down how she loves the music. Under the sound of the piano, our girl slips upstairs to give Emily a gift of two lily bulbs. Emily responds with a poem that inspiring a love of life and the World.
Eva braves the caverns beneath coastal ice to collect mussels.
For the first time Eva will go alone to collect mussels beneath the coastal ice . Lit only by candles, she finds the icy caverns both beautiful and dangerous. Will she get out before the tide comes in? Illustrations of the strange beauty beneath the ice thrill the imagination.
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.
Our only relief from Berty's detailed narration, about the timeless repetition of life on a Vermont farm, is his older brother's nagging desire to see the world.
This book offers its subject, the ongoing minutiae of 1917 farm life, as a theme. Sure, family milk was sold "to George Macready's creamery at the end of Grant Street", of Barstow, Vermont. So what! The narrator, Bert, is a purposeless observer with only his older brother's wanderlust contrasting with farm routine. To Bert, Luke's sad departure is just another wistful tick of farm-time. Illustrated faces project the same sentimental detail and tedium.
In tedious narrative, Pocahontas is 'one with Nature', while Europeans are gold-seeking, city-loving louts, except for handsome John Smith.
This politically correct Pocahontas story portrays a sublime Indian maiden destined by Nature's spirits to befriend Capt. Smith. The other Europeans carelessly seek gold and shoot an innocent Indian. Interracial romance, not tribal depredations, exacerbate conflict and Pocahontas must save Smith from her father's club. Contradicting history, she stays in 'her' world while Smith, injured by a European bullet, returns to Europe. The real story is much more exciting (see the full review).
Four girls of different races take a hike, when the youngest is briefly cast adrift in a boat.
It's 1900 on Saltspring Island in British Columbia, Canada. Three older girls, take little Martha for a hike and picnic along the shore. In a quiet cove, for fun, they place her in a beached boat. But, the older girls become distracted by the wildlife, as the tide rises. A last minute, wading, rescue of Martha ends the story. The Afterword provides material that could have made a good story: two of the girls are mulatto descendants of far-flung African slaves.