An unusual and captivating story set in the Stone Age, about a boy who longs to be a cave painter but is prevented by taboos of his clan.
Trade Information: LGEN
Available as: Hardback
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Specifications: 210x140mm (8.25x5.5in), 160pp
Published: November 1988
"Tao heard sounds behind him, sounds of breaking reeds and sloshing water, sounds of heavy bodies splashing through the swamp. He was no longer downwind. He was no longer safe. The mountains-that-walk were all around him."
All the fourteen-year-old boy Tao wants is to be left alone to paint and draw images of bears, deer, and woolly mammoths – the mountains-that-walk. Yet, Tao is not a Chosen One, and the clan leader, the fiery and superstitious Volt, disapproves of him and eventually forces Tao out into the wilderness alone.
There, though befriended by a wolf dog and the gentle shaman Graybeard, Tao's very survival is threatened as the clan pursues him, finally confronting him in the Secret Cavern. They determine his guilt by pitting him against the sacred bull Saxon.
In this unusual and captivating story, Justin Denzel breathes life and adventure into a world that existed 18,000 years ago, assuring the reader that compassion, friendship, and artistry transcend even time.
Justin Denzel has always had an interest in writing and the world of nature. Early in his career he worked at the American Museum of Natural History, where he first began to study prehistoric life. He also sailed aboard the research vessel Atlantis through the Caribbean and Sargasso seas, studying and collecting marine life.
While in Alaska, again collecting marine life for research, he edited a periodical called The Alaskan, which included stories on animals, Eskimos, and fishing. During the Second World War, he wrote for Nature magazine and Stars and Stripes.
Mr. Denzel has studied at the College of Paterson and Shrivenham American University in England. After the war he worked for a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey as a research librarian. Since then he has written over ten books, many of which are about animals; his adventure stories for children have been published by over a dozen magazines. In 1982 he retired to become a full-time writer of books for young readers. He lives in Clifton, New Jersey, with his wife, Josephine.