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Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure


Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure Cover

ISBN13: 9780979035708
ISBN10: 0979035708
Condition: Standard
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The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes: survival, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, nature's wonders and terrors.

About the Author

Artist, teacher, actor, author, historian, and former Boy Scout, Allan Richard Shickman was a professor of art history at the University of Northern Iowa for three decades. He now lives writes in St. Louis.

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Home School Book Review, July 6, 2011 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
Would you have the courage to hunt a lion with only a spear? Zan is a teenage boy, much shorter than other young men his age and not very handsome, who lives in prehistoric times with his father Thal, mother Wumna, uncle Chul, aunt Siraka-Finaka, cousins, and other members of his clan. The five clans of the neighborhood sometimes are at war with one another and other times work together. As the book opens, they are united in seeking to destroy a lion who had slaughtered a child. When the hunters close in around the beast near the great rock Gah, it leaps out, and Zan happens to be at the right place and the right time to kill it, thrusting his spear into the lion’s neck. Aniah, the great warrior and leader of the northern clan, names him Zan-Gah.
Zan has a younger twin brother, Dael, who had just disappeared about a year before. Zan is sure that Dael is still alive, so he determines to go in search of his brother. After he starts out, he kills a snake and uses the skin to invent the sling. After passing through the Hru clan, he comes to Aniah, who tells him that his brother was probably captured by the wasp people, the clans’ age-old enemy. After entering the wasp people’s territory, Zan himself is captured by them, mistaken for Dael whom they think had escaped from the Noi people to whom they had sold him, and made a slave for a year, during which time he pretends to be dimwitted and learns many of their secrets. Escaping with help from Rydl, a young boy whom he has befriended, he goes on to the Noi and rejoices to find Dael. However, to get home they must escape the Noi and then pass back through the wasp people. Can they make it? Or will they be recaptured and maybe even killed?
It is interesting to read a novel for young people set in prehistoric times because I have not come across very many such books. Zan-Gah did a good job of holding my attention. The plot moved along nicely, and various aspects of the story tied together well to make a unified whole. There are a lot of excitement and suspense for readers with a sense of adventure. Some people may object to the killing of animals and the savage behavior of people, but the events are set in a time and place where killing and the threat of being killed were a part of everyday life for both humans and animals, and no graphic or gruesome descriptions are found. However, the book might not be appropriate for smaller children or those with especially sensitive natures. Teenagers and adults too will appreciate Zan’s passage from the uncertainties of boyhood to the strength of manhood. I certainly found it a satisfying read. There is a sequel, Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country.
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Product Details

Shickman, Allan Rich
Earthshaker Books
Shickman, Allan Richard
Historical - Prehistory
General Juvenile Fiction
Prehistoric peoples
Children s-Historical Fiction-Prehistory
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.5 x 5.5 in
Age Level:

Related Subjects

Children's » Historical Fiction » Prehistory
Children's » Middle Readers » General

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