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Adventure seekers will find plenty of thrills in Allende's first novel for young readers. When 15-year-old Alexander Cold is sent to stay with his eccentric, gruff grandmother, Kate, while his mother is being treated for cancer, he is more than a little reluctant to accompany Kate on a writing assignment in South America to search for a legendary nine-foot-tall "Beast." However, once the expedition down the Amazon begins, Alexander's doubts are pushed out of his mind by more immediate concerns, such as keeping an eye on two suspicious members of the party: a native named Karakawe and Mauro Cari as, a wealthy entrepreneur. After Alexander's mysterious encounter with a caged jaguar, another teen, Nadia, explains its importance to him, and begins calling Alexander "Jaguar." This marks the beginning of their somewhat surreal journey: the two teens are kidnapped by the "People of the Mist," a tribe possessing the power of turning invisible, and enter a mountain to discover the mythical city of El Dorado and the enigmatic "Beasts." Reluctant readers may be intimidated by the thickness of this volume, but the plot moves at a rapid pace, laced with surprises and ironic twists. The action and outcome seem preordained, cleverly crafted to deliver the moral, but many readers will find the author's formula successful with its environmentalist theme, a pinch of the grotesque and a larger dose of magic. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Grade 7-10-In her first novel for younger readers (HarperCollins, 2002), Isabel Allende creates an authentic South American world, this time in the Amazon rain forest, and combines it with mythical realms of the imagination. California teen Alexander Cold embarks with his rather stern and prickly grandmother Kate, a writer, on a trek to locate a legendary Yeti-like Beast of the Amazon. An egotistical anthropologist, two photographers, and a guide with a teenage daughter fill out the official party. They are joined by a rich Amazon adventurer with villainous intentions and a doctor whose job supposedly is to carry protective vaccines to any native population. The story develops jungle and expedition details as well as cultural and economic conflicts with a mysterious People of the Mist very well. But the travels of the young people alone into the territory of the People as well as that of the giant Beasts are full of mysticism and fantastic happenings. Just when one twist of the plot seems to be reaching a resolution, two or three more arise, creating layer upon layer of incredible events. Narrator Blair Brown creates subtle voices and distinguishing accents for all the characters. Her rendering of unfamiliar native words is excellent, and this feature will be helpful to listeners who might come to a frustrated full stop at seeing the words in print. Her convincing reading is a real asset. A short appropriate musical passage plays at the beginning and ending of each side of the tape. The lengthy, complex plot may limit the audiobook's appeal. The story is noteworthy for its portrayal of the region and its problems, but unusual in its reliance on the supernatural and mystical. It will appeal to teens with an interest in the rain forest and a taste for the fantastic.
Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, Painted Post NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The plot is too far fetched, without any solid connections between events and the characters are unbelievable.Published 1 month ago by Kristine A Nugent
The fantasy aspect was beautiful. I could not put the book down it was elegant and joyful.Published 1 month ago by GAYLE E. VASAY
A good book for all ages! Creative and was not at all predictable. Great fantasy!Published 4 months ago by Patricia L. Fortmeyer
i was expecting a new book.very disappointed with this old book yellow pages and over price.furios customer!!Published 7 months ago by victoria clark