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Heart of a Jaguar

Marc Talbert

20 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 068980282X / ISBN 13: 9780689802829
Published by Athenum, 1995
Condition: Good Hardcover
From Books Express (Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Heart of a Jaguar

Publisher: Athenum

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title


When a severe drought threatens a Mayan village, Balam, on the brink of manhood, kills a jaguar as an offering to the gods, but the village elders believe that only a human sacrifice will appease the gods.

From Booklist:

Gr. 7^-10. In this unusual and arresting offering, Talbert takes the reader deep into the heart of a Mayan village, where a death-inducing drought is taking its toll. Balam, a boy on the verge of manhood, is trying to find his way in a complicated world filled with signs, portents, rules, and special conduct to appease the gods. When Balam kills a jaguar, it seems that this may be the sacrifice that will finally bring rain. But in a horrific final scene, it is not the heart of the jaguar that is offered to the gods, but the heart of the village's best and brightest, Balam himself. Talbert's research of the late Mayan period is obvious (and well documented in notes and a bibliography). He writes vividly and uncompromisingly of a life very foreign to ours, butreaders will need a strong stomach for this one. Throughout he pulls no punches. Among other graphic moments is an opening scene of childbirth, another of penis and tongue piercing, and the final moment of Balam's life in which he sees his heart being pulled from his chest. This is difficult, sometimes brutal reading. Young people who are ready to make the unflinching commitment the book requires will come away both fascinated and full of questions they will have to answer for themselves. Ilene Cooper

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