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Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) Paperback – October 28, 1976

51 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Puffin Book
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (October 28, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140309268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140309263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 57 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Maybe as an adult, this book is intriguing and very interesting. It may be something you will never forget, or one of the best, most award-deserving books you have ever read.
But I think it's really boring.
They made us read this in school, and I was really bored, as well as confused, throughout the entire thing. This book was intended for kids to read it, but for some reason, it seems to bore all of them.
What really gets me is some of the adults who liked this book say "Children writing reviews of this book is inappropriate" because we can't fully appreciate the value of this exceptional story. Well, why not? We are people who have read this book. I DO have an opinion on whether or not it's worth wasting your money on.
And I think it's not. Yes, this review may actually be helpful for a potential buyer. Why rate it "not helpful" just because it goes against your opinion and is not favorable about the book?
I think THAT's more childish than most of our reviews.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark is a marvelous children's novel which can be very important reading for children. The beautiful novel certainly earned its Newbery Medal.
The novel is the story of Cusi. He is an Inca boy who has been raised in a remote valley of the Andes mountain range by an old man, Chuto. Cusi is of royal Inca blood, but this is four hundred years after the Spanish conquest. Cusi has been raised in the traditional Inca manner. The plot of the novel concerns Cusi's search for himself. He has been raised without a "family" (at least in the traditional sense), and he is sent from the valley, with the companionship of his pet llama, to find his path in the world, a task that he sees as finding himself a family. The world Cusi goes into is one which is very different from the one he has been raised in because the Spanish culture has become predominant. Then, Cusi is forced to come to terms with his own way of life and with what his concept of "family" should be.
Secret of the Andes is an amazing book. I think that it can be extremely important in helping children to understand the view-point of Native Americans and helping them to understand Native American literature later in life. I also found that this novel was, in ways, similar to adult novels like Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. It aids in this understanding through a fairly simple story of a young, regular boy who can be related to. Ann Nolan Clark really created a masterpiece with Secret of the Andes.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A 12-year old reader on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be part of an ancient culture? Well here is your chance! "Secret of the Andes" is a excellent book to read if you have ever asked yourself this question. This book is about a young Incan boy, by the name of Cusi, who lives high in the Andes of South America. He is a llama herder, a noble and very common occupation where he lives. His keeper is a man by the name of Chuto, a secretive and mysterious man. The one thing Cusi wants in his life is a family. One day his llama guides him to a temple, there Cusi finds something very peciular....
This book was written for twelve to thirteen year olds. It contains emotional struggles that anyone younger would'nt be able to grasp.
One main topic of this story was that of family. The one thing Cusi ever wanted was a family. The only family he had ever known. One day a family moves into the valley below. After seeing this he deides that one day he will go in search of his own family.
Another topic is culture. One day Cusi finds out that he is the last of a long line of Incan royalty.
"Secret of the Andes" is a good book for anyone who enjoys reading about far off places and different cultures.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stickler on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
PBS showed Jared Diamond's 2007 series, Guns, Germs, and Steel. He cited the use of the llama by the Spanish to haul silver out of the mines in Peru and Bolivia. Eye-witness Gregory de Bolivar (actually Padre Gregorio de Bolivar), estimated the number of llama at 300,0000. You can go online and read the episode for yourself.
Llamas were never almost driven to extinction by the Spanish conquerors. Why would Ann Nolan Clark make up the lie? Why would so many repeat it? Why do so many people swallow such a ridiculous lie? Ridiculous because raising livestock was not the first thing on minds of the conquerors - mining precious metals was. They didn't have the time to import enough horses to do the job so of course, not being total idiots, they used native pack animals - llamas.
Incidentally, historians estimate that the Inca Empire's priests sacrificed between 10,000 to 80,000 humans on one "festal" day in 1498.
If truth is a value you wish to impart to your children, then this is not a book you want them to read. Shame on the Newbery for honoring dishonesty. Distinguished literature? No, the book is fulled with very obvious lies.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Secret of the Andes is a very moving story of a modern Inca boy with a very esoteric connection to his Inca past. I raise llamas, and have a great interest in these wonderful creatures and the people who saved them from extinction during the Spanish 'conquest'. I couldn't put this book down.
It uses high language and a lot of esoteric imagery. I read it to my seventh grade students who found it much more interesting when I played "Sukay" music of the Andes, and passed around photos of native Quechua people and llamas.
The story was very believable. It helps to have some knowledge of Inca beliefs, the history of the Spanish 'conquest' and a knowledge of llamas. If you have this information, the story seem more like history than fiction.
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