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The Mob
     

The Mob

by Clem Martini
 

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The Mob is the saga of a crow family, the Kinaars, who are faced with troubled times. When the family converges for the annual Gathering, a mob mounts a revenge attack on a cat —- with disastrous consequences. The Gathering should be a time to rejoice. Instead, it becomes a time of fear, danger and uncertainty, when ancient laws and customs are tested. A

Overview

The Mob is the saga of a crow family, the Kinaars, who are faced with troubled times. When the family converges for the annual Gathering, a mob mounts a revenge attack on a cat —- with disastrous consequences. The Gathering should be a time to rejoice. Instead, it becomes a time of fear, danger and uncertainty, when ancient laws and customs are tested. A tribunal passes judgment —- the instigator of the mob, the impulsive and charismatic Kyp, must be punished. Then, just when the Kinaars are divided over The Mob attack, an unexpected blizzard spells more trouble. They desperately need a safe roost. The family splits, leaving the Gathering Tree to seek shelter in forbidden worlds ...

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
[There’s much to admire about this first novel. it’s no easy task to drum up sympathy for main characters generally regarded as unsavory pests, and Martini meets the challenge admirably, parlaying facts about crow behavior into a convincing, wholly absorbing anthropomorphic society.
VOYA
Old Katum is Chooser for a large crow family, responsible for the safety of the flock and the teller of family history. Today he tells of a migration in which terrible disaster threatened the Family. A brash young crow called Kyp teased a fierce cat named Red and indirectly caused the death of another crow. Kyp initiated a group attack on the killer cat, an action not sanctioned by the Family, and was temporarily exiled. Days later, a devastating spring blizzard threatened the entire family, and the crows needed refuge from the storm. Only Kyp and the young female Kym had workable plans to save the family, and each plan had dangers. Kyp led one group underground, a most uncrowlike place, where they were stealthily followed by a vengeful Red and four other cats. Kym sought assistance from humans, although every crow regards humans as unpredictable and dangerous. Many crows fell victim to the storm, and many were killed by cats, but most survived, finding sacrifice, help, and leadership where they least expected it. Beautifully written, at times positively lyrical, this tale takes wing like a crow in flight, "with style." Despite implausibility in the plot, the crow protagonists have real personalities that make the reader care about them. The character, lore, and mores of the Family enhance a good adventure story. Look forward to two more books in a series of three, Feather and Bones: The Crow Chronicles. VOYA CODES: 5Q 3P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Kids Can Press, 240p., Ages 11 to 18.
—Rayna Patton
Children's Literature
The Gathering is at hand. It is that time of year when the crows of the Kinaar family come together. They socialize and pair off, but the Gathering is more than just a reunion. It is a time of tradition and rules; it is a time for honoring their ways and for reflecting on the family history. The flock's story is told by Kalum, a wise old crow. As the flock's Chooser, Kalum is responsible for calling the flock together, making difficult choices, determining punishment when needed, and telling the story. This year's story is one of trouble and turmoil. The Gathering starts perfectly. The crows are arriving, and approximately 1500 crows are expected to grace the branches of their traditional tree. Quickly, though, things go wrong. A careless act leads to the death of the young crow, Klea. A group of angry youth descends upon the murderous cat in revenge. The family must respond, and the flock passes judgment. It is crow against crow as the family members consider rules, tradition, danger, risk, and revenge. Will this conflicted group be able to pull together in time to respond to the next deadly challenge? In this, his first novel, Clem Martini presents a surprisingly compelling cast of avian characters. In his presentation of crow society, Martini is able to address issues of community, governance, tradition, law, and family which apply to us all. Readers are, as part of the flock, listening to Kalum's grim life-or-death story. Book one of the Feather and Bone: The Crow Chronicles trilogy, this is on par with The Secret of NIMH, Watership Down, and other classic animal tales. 2004, Kids Can, Ages 11 to 16.
—Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-For 12 generations, the Gathering Tree has been a haven where the Crow clans recall their history, rejoice and rest, find a mate, remember fallen members of the flock, and select their leader, or "Chooser." At this gathering, young Kyp ru Kurea impulsively gives the call to mob a malicious cat that has killed a nestling, is charged with bringing danger to the Flock, and is evicted for six days for his actions. When a sudden spring snowstorm threatens the Family's existence, Kyp and Kym must break the rules to ensure the clans' survival. Kalum ru Kurea ru Kinaar, the Chooser, relates these events. Values are implied but never preachy. An appealing balance of young and old characters move the story along. The text is infused with avian knowledge and offers a humorous and unique view of humans as witnessed by birds. The writing is excellent but the plot may be a bit too slow for many readers as talk often takes precedence over action. Still, the story will leave readers considering their own impulsive decision-making and its consequences.-Kim Donius, Alfred-Almond Central School, Almond, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The formal-voiced leader of a flock of crows recounts recent events that endangered the flock's safety. The Kinaar Family, upwards of 1,200 crows, is roosting in the Gathering Tree. Kalum, the Chooser, carefully narrates what has taken place over the past few days: brutal fights with cats, a huge snowstorm, quirky interactions with humans, and in-flock political conflicts. "[W]hat is a flock but individuals who have agreed to abide by a set of rules?" an elder asks; the explanation of these rules-though ostensibly aimed at the crows-may make readers feel lectured to. Martini tries to combine the storytelling voice with several other elements, such as creation myth, adventure, and intricacies of group politics, but Kalum's voice is too stilted to weave it all together. Some of the characters (including Kalum) are interesting, but all the K-names run together, and the overall effect is too studied to be engrossing. (Fiction. 11-14)
From the Publisher
[T]here’s much to admire about this first novel. it’s no easy task to drum up sympathy for main characters generally regarded as unsavory pests, and Martini meets the challenge admirably, parlaying facts about crow behavior into a convincing, wholly absorbing anthropomorphic society.

The writing is excellent ... [T]he story will leave readers considering their own impulsive decision-making and its consequences.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781553375746
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Series:
Feather and Bone: The Crow Chronicles Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Clem Martini is a playwright, screenwriter and a professor of drama. Clem was born in Calgary, Alberta, and lives there with his wife and two daughters.

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