School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 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.
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