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

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Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) + The Corn Grows Ripe (Puffin Newbery Library)
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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 (October 28, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140309268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140309263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most boring book i've read so far.
Electric Bird
Because he lives in seclusion on the mountain, he does not come into contact with other boys and does not realize that he is different.
This book is for anyone who likes learning about the culture, and reading adventures.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 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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38 of 44 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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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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11 of 13 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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This gentle, introspective story features more mental and emotional gowth, than purely physical "action," which might turn off youngsters of the 90's. Set in the rugged Andes Mountains of South America--with its rarified pure air and the sounds of soothing panpies-this sleeper presents a quiet, coming-of-age tale of an Indian youth. In the sacred city of Cuzco he seems just another highland llama herdsboy, but to a select few descendants of the ancient Incas, he is the Chosen One in-training. Raised solely by a dour but devoted old man named Chuto, the boy gradually wonders about his provenance. Hungry for social interaction, he realizes that his heart's desire is to find his own family, or at least one to call his own.
Chuto and then the Amauta teach him the lore of his mighty ancestors, as Cusi becomes aware of special things about himself: golden earplugs and possession of a rare, black llama. Could he be of royal blood? These wise Old Ones encourage him to follow his heart and not be surprised if the path leads in a circuitous route.
Will Cusi be temped by life in the world outside his beloved Hidden Valley? Just what secret are the Old Ones guarding? Will he find his real parents or choose a new family? The boy desperately wants to Belong and be among humankind, yet he ventures nowhere without Misti, he pet llama. Or will he choose a life of soial isolation, in order to become part of an age-old but intangible chain of guardians of the Incans' fabulous Secret? He can not understand the scorn of the Spaniards, who consider the Incans a conquered race 400 years ago. What about underground rivers, whose courses can not be observed or diverted? Are they any the less rivers, for all the ignorance of their existence above ground? This book is for readers 12 to adult. It presents the Native side to the Conquest of Peru; a good choice for Ethnic studies and the clash of cultures.
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