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.
A Japanese woman's interest in The Holocaust becomes a passionate pursuit for truth about the life of Auschwitz intern, Hana Brady, which poignantly reveals the value of every child to us all.
Young Fumiko Ishioka was astounded by the horror of the Holocaust. With the arrival of a battered suitcase from the Auschwitz museum, Fumiko's determination became personal and unrelenting. It was a child's suitcase, simply labeled "Hana Brady", Who was Hana"? What happened to her? Hana's Suitcase tells children, sensitively, of wrenching injustice. Yet its stunning surprises teach us of the humanity possible to Men. Through Hana, Fumiko shows us how special a life is. You will thank Goodness for Hana, and for Fumiko!
Dying of boredom in his retirement pasture, Charlie, a spirited Clydesdale, rediscovers his joie de vivre by setting the entire village "on schedule" for his favorite daily event.
The sorriest sort of creature is the one without a purpose. Marguerite Henry has captured this gravely important principle in a way that children can understand, and has done so by using a draft horse as her main character. One can still be active and important during retirement and Charlie delightfully ensures he is both.
Bright humorous writing helps even young children understand the Emperor Penguin's extraordinary effort at laying and caring for a single egg, and then chick, through an Antarctic winter.
Imagine sitting for two months without food, in driving snow, high winds, -40C temperatures, and you have to keep an egg on top of your feet! Jenkins writes, "... I'd be very, very miserable. Luckily the penguins don't seem to mind too much. They have thick feathers and lots of fat..." In this way kids can enjoy learning the amazing way Emperor Penguins care for their young. Even the well executed illustrations are informative.
Hilariously, a five year old is confused by convincing 'evidence' that his body is disassembling, like a cheap doll.
The pop-eyed characters of Parts completely complement the crazy fear the main character experiences. More importantly, Arnold shows children how true facts can be misconstrued. Laugh with your children. Then, see if you can find real world examples to show older children that the logic error in Parts is horrifically common, even among information specialists such as journalists & academics.
A mongoose battles two devious and deadly Cobras, that are bent on destroying a human family that had saved him from drowning.
One of the all time great children's stories, Rikki Tikki Tavi tells of an Indian mongoose rescued by a British family. He overhears two Cobras planning to make the walled family garden safe for their hatchlings —by killing his benefactors! Rikki, in justice & loyalty to the family, determines to defeat the deadly cobras. For a children's story, the war of wits & agility that ensues is remarkable and compelling.
Norwegian school children use their ingenuity, and considerable bravery, to smuggle gold bullion from under the noses of the Nazi occupying army.
It is its improbability that makes it possible. Twelve year old Peter and 24 Norwegian school children must keep millions of dollars worth of gold bricks (26,000 pounds) from the occupying Nazi forces. Can they transport the gold through the snow, under the very noses of Nazi soldiers, to Uncle Victor's hidden fishing vessel? Grasping the nature of the Nazis, the intelligent and brave children get to work, but Peter soon discovers they are being watched.
A bright and introspective hawklet experiments and explores to discover abilities, places and companions, always with the intention of making the most of his life.
Rufous is sure he knows the 'whole' world: his mother, a blue roof, and a nest of sticks. Then a shock! His mother must be going somewhere else to get food! Quietly commanding, she won't let her "handful of dandelion fluff" try flying. Over 18 months we see Rufous proudly grow into the world, and we follow his introspective efforts to understand it. The parallel with human intellectual development is inescapable, and adeptly achieved.
By learning to read, old Jeremiah discovers the beauty in literacy, and a shared joy.
Wise old Jeremiah farmed his whole life, and now wants to read. "You are wonderful as you are", said his wife. "But I can be better", he responds. Perhaps his way of learning was unusual, but he soon discovers that reading offers more than simple facts. Juliana asks, "When are you going to read to me?" He answers, "When the time is right". He has found a special new reason for reading!