In the Shadow of the Mammoth

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9780967460246: In the Shadow of the Mammoth

At eleven summers, Zol approaches manhood in his clan of Ice Age Hunters. He should be eager for his first mammoth hunt, but shameful fear gnaws at his insides like a hungry rat.

Fear of disgracing his brave father’s memory drives Zol to prove himself worthy of the Star Dancer clan. In his quest for courage, Zol barely escapes death in a raging river, stands face-to-face with a young mammoth, and survives two attacks by a long-toothed cat. Zol gains confidence from these encounters. But will his new-found courage stand the test of the mammoth hunt?

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About the Author:

Patricia Nikolina Clark lives in Washington State with her husband, their energetic dog, and a cat named Stump.

Her passion for prehistory leads her to volunteer in archaeological excavations whenever possible. The idea for this book came during her participation in a dig that uncovered a cache of stone points dated to the Clovis period. She held in her hands a stone point once held by a Clovis hunter— 12,000 years ago! It was then that Zol tapped her on her shoulder and began whispering his story in her ear.

Patricia’s stories and articles have appeared in children’s magazines for many years Her easy-reader, Goodbye, Goose, was published in 2000. This is her first novel for children.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6-A tribe of people called the Star Dancers survive as hunters and gatherers in this novel set approximately 12,000 years ago. At 11 summers old, Zol lives in a small village with his mother, younger sister, and grandmother. Bad dreams and fears have plagued him ever since his father was killed while hunting mammoth several years earlier. He has been allowed to pursue his own interests, such as flint knapping, which is considered women's work, while other boys learn hunting skills. His troubles only increase when he rescues an injured baby crow and raises it as a pet. His grandmother believes that crows are evil and Zol's insistence on keeping it causes many arguments. Now, the age of manhood is fast approaching and Zol is expected to join the men on their next hunt. Although he almost drowns, has dangerous encounters with wild animals, and invents a new hunting tool, the plot moves along at a snail's pace and has no intensity. While Clark's research is meticulous and the setting and characterization are historically sound, the writing is dry, resulting in a mediocre read at best.
Karen T. Bilton, Somerset County Library, Bridgewater, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Patricia Nikolina Clark
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