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.
We see how the lives of two girls from Santo Domingo and Maine, respectively, are connected through the trade of ice and chocolate treats!
Two young girls of the late 1800s tells us a bit about their lives. On a Caribbean island we see life near the ocean, and the manual harvest and preparation of cocoa for traders. In Maine we see how ice is encouraged, extracted, stored and shipped by sail. In this very rare perspective for children's literature, we see how each girl benefits from the other's lifestyle, through their parents' trade: think chocolate ice cream!