Although Seth, the young teenager with the twisted leg, is only tolerated by his tribe for his storytelling abilities, he senses his people are on the brink of a transition from hunters to artisans and growers of food, if only he can become their leader.
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Grade 4-8 Twelve-year-old Seth, crippled from childhood, fears that although he has inherited his father's storytelling skills, he will never follow him as leader of their prehistoric clan, which values hunting and fighting skills above the wisdom in the history and lore of the tribe. When his life is threatened by the new leader's son, he leaves with his friend, Esu, and the puppy whose life he has saved, to follow rumors of a people who tend crops, domesticate animals, and live in hutsa journey that teaches Seth the true meaning of leadership and gives him the courage to return. Although the importance of the storyteller is explained at the beginning, it is disappointing that there are few scenes which show this, and none powerfully. However, the relationships are solidly built, despite the villains being somewhat flat, and the book conveys well the way stages of civilization overlap. Seth is a mite too perceptive, perhaps, but his realization of the responsibilities of leadership is handled nicely, as are his feelings about his handicap, and the plot is satisfyingly resolved compared to Denzel's Boy of the Painted Cave (Philomel, 1988). However, Denzel's book has more exciting highlights. Something that both share is the inability to evoke convincingly the way that prehistoric people might speak and think and the use of anachronistic concepts. Despite its minor flaws, Seth. . . would make a pleasant read for middle-graders. Annette Curtis Klause, Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries,
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Morrow Junior Books, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110688073271
Book Description Morrow Junior Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0688073271 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1197906