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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Reading
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...
Published on October 17, 2001 by Oddsfish

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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I am a thirteen year old... but this book bores teens and children!
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...
Published on June 6, 2011


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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I am a thirteen year old... but this book bores teens and children!, June 6, 2011
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (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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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Reading, October 17, 2001
By 
Oddsfish (United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (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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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My view on this wonderfully imaginative book, February 4, 2002
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Anyone Watch PBS?, December 10, 2012
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (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
3.0 out of 5 stars PRESERVING CULTURAL IDENTITY AND INTEGRITY, May 14, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (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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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully told story, September 1, 2000
By 
Amazon Customer (Ludington, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (Paperback)
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful little story, best appreciated in context, November 7, 2007
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (Paperback)
I loved this story, but then, I am at an age where I have a general context in which to place stories about other times, other cultures. Not so much my kids (10 & 8). They probably would have been pretty bored with the idea of this story, if we had not first studied the fascinating histories of Spanish explorers and the colonization of Mexico and South America.

When the book is read aloud against the backdrop of how a once thriving civilization was rather ruthlessly wiped out and exploited, the idea of a culture and way of life surviving becomes pretty compelling. My children were very interested in the llama and how it helped sustain the Incas, much like the buffalo sustained the plains Indians in North America.

And the idea (fictitious though it may be) that Atahualpa's treasure exists and was spirited away from Pizzaro really appealed to my kids' sense of justice (since Atahualpa did NOT gain his freedom when his people allegedly gave Pizzaro a room full of gold.)

So overall, this slow-paced story really helped bring the Incan culture alive for my kids in an enjoyable way. It is definitely worth reading.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Secret of The Andes, February 5, 2002
By 
Nicholas Zerona (Charlotte, North Carolina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (Paperback)
Have you ever liked to know what it would be like to live in the Andes Mountains with a herd of llamas and an old man? This is a book about a young Incan boy whose name is Cusi and his heart's desire is to find his family.
If you like books about people with no family and people that have to travel to get them, than you will love this book!This book also has fairly easy content to understand so this book is for people 10 and older. Anyone younger than 10 the plot would probably be too complicated for.
At the beginging of this book there are two characters: Cusi and Chuto. They plan to go travel and get some salt but they can't leave their llamas, soon a minstral comes and watches their flock for them so Chuto and Cusi start off. During the journey he meets some families and a feeling of yearning to be like them overcomes Cusi.
Before embarking on his path to find his family his llama Misti leads him to a part of his vally he has never seen before. There he finds something that aids him in his search for his family. The last thing Chuto tells him before he leaves is "Greave not if your searching circles" and Cusi was off.
In all, Secret of the Andes is about a boy who has to struggle to find his family where ever it might take him.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Grade 5 and Higher, October 10, 2006
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (Paperback)
This was an excellent book but certainly deep. The writing style was at times difficult for my daughter to grasp. She is in 4th grade (age 8 1/2) and I read this book out loud to her. What helped us a lot while reading this book was to also read from the encyclopedia about the Inca civilization. We also read more things about Incas which helped us to understand things like "quipu" which is a number of different colored and tied cords that Incans used to record events as they did not write. If you are already studying Incans I highly recommend this book. If you are not presently studying this culture this book just may lead you in that direction! 4 stars only because it is a difficult read for those under 10.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1963 Newberry Award winner, August 7, 2000
This review is from: Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) (Paperback)
This gentle, methodical book tells the story of the Incas from the native point of view. Cusi, a young Indian boy lives high in the mountain valley with Chuto, the old Indian. Isolated for as long as he can remember, Cusi grows weary of tending the llama flock, and begins to ask Chuto where he came from. Filled with mystery and eloquence, this book is a depiction of a lost civilization that yearns to live on. Surrounded by modernization, the hidden valley claims a culture and the devotion of two extraordinary human beings. This book will not be appreciated by every reader, but for those who can listen, it is a true hidden treasure, lost in decades since it's award winning recognition in 1963.
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Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book)
Secret of the Andes (Puffin Book) by Ann Nolan Clark (Paperback - October 28, 1976)
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