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Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure

Zan-Gah:  A Prehistoric Adventure - Allan Richard Shickman Check out this review over at Smash Attack Reads! http://smashattackreads.blogspot.com/2010/12/book-review-zan-gah-prehistoric.htmlMy ThoughtsI was contacted by Earthsaker Books to review Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. I don’t usually review middle grade literature, but the book sounded interesting and different, so I gave it a shot. It is quite evident that this story is written for younger people, as the storytelling is quite basic. However, I felt that the characters were deep and emotional beings, even though the writing did not do the best job at conveying emotion. This may be due to the audience the book is intended for, or it may just be the author’s style, or maybe it’s just me. The chapters were like mini-stories on their own, and I thought it was set up a bit odd, but this didn’t detract from the story.The book was packed with adventure, as Zan-Gah sets out to find his long lost twin brother, Dael. Along the way, he encounters other tribes, invents the sling, befriends a lost boy, and fights for his life and the safety of his tribe. Throughout his journey, Zan-Gah steadily grows from a boy into a man as he encounters difficult tasks and maneuvers through treacherous landscape. He is an emotional youth who cares deeply for others, as shown by his compassionate acts towards others.I really enjoyed Aniah, the tribal leader of the northern clan. Zan-Gah seeks the assistance of Aniah in his journey, and I enjoyed the interaction. Aniah is exactly what I would imagine a tribal leader to be: full of instinct and wisdom, commanding great respect, being equitable in all decisions, and ruling with fierce passion.Once Zan-Gah rescues Dael, it was interesting to see Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rear its ugly head. Dael was put through the wringer and while he recovers enough to integrate back into his tribe, he never really is quite the same. Zan-Gah also experiences PTSD in the very first chapter, but is able to work himself through it.I think this book is great for children, and would be fun for parent / child to read together. I also think it would be an interesting book for the classroom, and a discussion guide can be found here. It wasn’t outstanding for me, but enjoyable nonetheless. I plan to read the sequel, Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country