Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dael and the Painted People - Allan Richard Shickman

Publisher:  Earthshaker Books
Pages:  155
Source:  I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Genre:  Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adventure

I was thrilled when I was contacted about reviewing the third book in the Zan-Gah series.  Although I received the book quite some time back, I held off reviewing it.  While reviewing the many other books I had back-logged.  I read this book a chapter at a time.  I don't normally do this.  The reason?  I wanted to re-read it quickly a week or two before I posted my review.  In my classroom we are currently reading our core curriculum's novel "Dar and the Spear Thrower".  I wanted to be able to showcase the Zan-Gah Series to my students.  I believe the story it tells is much richer yet still gives the students a glimpse of the time period.  I was excited as we started the unit last week to be able to show the books to my students.  I pull them from my shelves until we start the unit.

In Dael and the Painted People we  find Zan-Gah's twin leaving the Ba-Coro clan.  He takes with him Sparrow.  He is not sure why he asks her at first.  Maybe because he is lonely and she has always been an outcast because of her inability to speak.  They are accompanied by two wolves, Dara and Nata.  They are ready protectors, as well as hunters in a land that is harsh.  It is obvious from the beginning of the  book that Dael is still haunted by his past and still has so much pent up anger.  It was refreshing to read that he and Sparrow meet the Painted People, also known as the Children of the Earth.  They paint their bodies red.  It is through this clan that Dael finally begins to find peace and healing.  It is here he finds love and learns to harness his anger.

Once again I have say that the characters were well fleshed out.  If I had to pick one of the three books as my favorite I would have to choose this one.  To see such a change in a character was wonderful and believable. I have loved this series.  When our department chair came and informed me we could choose alternate books to go with our Core Units, this was at the top of my list.  Why?  It is well written.  I think it covers the concepts much better than the books picked by our district.  Most importantly, they want us to encourage our  students to read more books by the author, so I would prefer having them read a series.  I've already shared this with one of the other teachers and she is as excited as I am and has started reading the series to her students.  I look forward to many more books by this author that I can share with my students.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sandra,

    Many thanks for your generous comments, and for your support. It was my purpose to write books suitable for classroom use—that is, books that would be extremely exciting to students, but which would also be meaningful, and enriching. Moreover, I was aware that teachers would want examples of good writing, vocabulary, and proper grammar. To tell kids that books are "educational" is the kiss of death, so I tell them they are DYNAMITE, and I hope it's true.

    Allan S.