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Return to the Painted Cave Hardcover – September 22, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel (September 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039923117X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399231179
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8. This sequel to Boy of the Painted Cave (Philomel, 1988) can be read as a separate entity but includes numerous references to the first book. Return picks up the story of lame Tao, now an itinerant cave painter for several clans, some two years after the death of his artist/shaman mentor. He renews his acquaintance with the Mountain People, running afoul of their demented Neanderthal shaman when he comes to the rescue of a blind girl and three ailing children that the shaman has declared demon-possessed. The rather tangled plot also includes a mysterious map; a journey to the ocean; Tao's "shining stone," which reflects the sun's light and scares away predators; physical handicaps; inter-species prejudice; tribal taboos; and many encounters with angered, hungry, or unfamiliar wildlife. So many plot threads need careful plaiting to develop a clear pattern, but here seem abruptly contrived rather than crafted. This convoluted tale needs more polishing to capture the gleam of Tao's "shining stone."?Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Two years after the death of his mentor, Graybeard, the lame Cro-Magnon artist Tao, first met in Boy of the Painted Cave (1988), returns to the Land of the Mountain People and finds them under the thumb of a new shaman, a screaming, crazed ``Neander'' named Zugar. Zugar has imprisoned three malnourished orphans and a blind girl, Deha, in a cave, calling them possessed by demons; scandalized, Tao springs Deha and they set out downriver for the ocean, in hopes of gathering kelp and abalone to improve the orphans' diet. Tao's world teems with wildlife, and the author makes sure his protagonist encounters all of it, from bears, birds, and Sandar, a huge cave lion, to the giant sea turtles that pull Tao's raft back to shore when he's washed out to sea. As in his other prehistoric adventures, Denzel develops the setting more fully than the predictable plot or the characters, all of whom are consigned limited, well-defined roles and speak in board-stiff utterances- -``Maybe you come to hunt our ibex or mouflon, eh?'' Readers are less likely to remember the perfunctory storyline than the intense satisfaction Tao gets from his art (using natural dyes and sketches carved into small stones, he takes every opportunity to depict his world on cave walls), and the author's picture of the natural world so long ago. (Fiction. 10-12) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The Return to the Painted Cave is a very intresting book. This book deals with fighting for what Tao, the boy cave painter, believes in. Eventhough Tao has a certain dissability, he sets out on a unforgetable journey. As he sets out to paint in the Secret Caverns of the Mountain People, Tao discovers that they are victims of a crazy shaman, Zugor, that makes them live under the threats that he will put some curses on them. Tao finds out about a blind girl, Deha,and three orphans that Zugor keeps in a cave because Zugor says they are supposedly possed by demons. Tao does not believe this is right and that is the begining of his incredible adventure. Tao does the impossible to fight for what he believes in. Tao fights mother nature, bears, lions, rhinos and he also fights for his life and for the lives of others. On Tao's journey, he sees things that he has never seen and goes to places he has never thought of going to. The author Justin Denzel makes the story to the point where anyone can literaly get addicted into reading every chapter of the book to find out what happens to Tao. Justin Denzel Makes Tao into a magician, where he can create life out of fire, a painter and a safari expert. I really liked this book because it shows a lot of suspense. At the end of the chapter, it leaves a reader with curiosity and suspense so the reader just has to keep on reading. If there is a chance to read this book, I recommend anyone to read it.
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By Santa Barbara Mom on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter's 6th grade class read the book just before this one (Boy of the Painted Cave) and we wanted to know more, so got this sequel, which advanced the story and the characters. Well done.
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