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Children's LiteratureOn the twentieth anniversary of its publication, the story of Maroo and her family's survival during the end of the Ice Age is as compelling and universally appealing as ever. Maroo and her family make their way to the sea for the summer. Along the way they pick up Rivo, an injured wild dog that they tame. Summer by the sea is wonderful. But by waiting for the birth of Maroo's baby sister, they delay too long before leaving for the winter caves. Then, disaster strikes on their return journey. Maroo's father is killed and her uncle is seriously injured in a hunt. Shortage of food and the onset of winter threaten the survival of the remaining family, so Maroo and her brother must set out alone to get help. Maroo's courage and love for her family enable her to cross the Pass of the Sprits, frighten the lion with fire and even head on without her brother after he disappears in the snow. She manages to get help just in time and her brother makes it home with the help of Rivo, the dog. Despite the old-fashioned "narrator" style of writing, the struggle that Maroo's family faces is a true classic. 2004 (orig. 1984), Clarion Books, Ages 8 to 12.
—Moira Rose Donohue