Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Prince Who Fell From the Sky - John Claude Bemis


Publisher:  Random House (May 22, 2012)
Pages:  272
Source:  Review copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Genre:  Middle Grade, Post-Apocalyptic, Animal Fantasy

From Goodreads:
In Casseomae's world, the wolves rule the Forest, and the Forest is everywhere. The animals tell stories of the Skinless Ones, whose cities and roads once covered the earth, but the Skinless disappeared long ago.

Casseomae is content to live alone, apart from the other bears in her tribe, until one of the ancients' sky vehicles crashes to the ground, and from it emerges a Skinless One, a child. Rather than turn him over to the wolves, Casseomae chooses to protect this human cub, to find someplace safe for him to live. But where among the animals will a human child be safe? And is Casseomae threatening the safety of the Forest and all its tribes by protecting him?

Middle-grade fans of post apocalyptic fiction are in for a treat with this fanciful and engaging animal story by the author of the Clockwork Dark trilogy.

My Thoughts:
This is one author who has that magical touch that allows his animals to become somewhat human.  In a world where the humans are supposedly extinct, a bear and rat find themselves protecting a child who fell from the sky.  When a flying craft crashes in the forest, Dumpster, a rat and Casseomae find themselves the protector of the only survivor, a young boy.  The animals of the forest call humans the “skinless ones”.  As you read you realize they have many prejudices against humans based on what they have heard from tales passed down.  I thought it interesting that Dumpster was the keeper of the memories.  He is despised by others in the forest because he lived among the humans.  Dogs are even lower on the list because they lived with the humans. 

Knowing this small boy or cub as Casseomae calls him will not harm them, she sets out to get him to safety.  When word of the child reaches their leader Ogeema, he is determined to kill the child.  I loved the bond between the bear and the boy.  I loved the way Dumpster pretended he didn’t care about the boy and that he was nothing but trouble.  His actions proved different.   This reminded me of the movie “Ice Age” where the wooly mammoth was determined to get the small boy back to his people.

I loved the writing style.  Bemis did not tell the names of animals.  He described them through the eyes of the band of animals traveling together.  When Casseomae comes upon her first strange animal she described it as a “strange deer.  It had an exceptionally long neck ….she could make out spots over its coat, large brown blots against a field of tawny yellow.” (Page 193)  It would have been so much easier to just say they saw the carcass of a dead giraffe.  His descriptions showed the animals as intelligent but not all knowing.  I had not read his previous trilogy The Clockwork Dark, but will definitely do so now.  This is an author I will proudly recommend to all of my students and parents. 

Come back tomorrow for a guest post from the Author.


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  1. I talk with someone about it.

  2. I deal with bad situations by taking a deep breath and get more information. I try to just be calm about whatever the situation is.


  3. I take a deep breath and count to ten.


  4. If it's nothing I can change I learn to accept it. If something can be done to make things better, then I do that.