|Bringing the boy home|
Author: Nelson, N. A.
Two young boys from the same Amazon tribe embark on a vision quest in order to achieve manhood.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 124152
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 44593
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (06/01/08)
School Library Journal (00/11/08)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (07/08)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2008 In this debut novel, winner of the Ursula Nordstrom Fiction Contest, a boy with a malformed foot is cast off by his remote Amazonian tribe, the Takunami. Sara, an American anthropologist, rescues 6-year-old Tirio, adopts him, and brings him home to Miami. As Tirio approaches his thirteenth birthday, he begins to hear inner voices, a phenomenon that he knows is common among Takunami boys as they prepare for the soche sente tente, a grueling coming-of-age test in which young men are guided through a dangerous jungle by spiritual communication with their fathers. When Sara and Tirio return to the Amazon, Tirio plans his own secret soche sente tente, hoping to meet the father he never knew. Alternating with Tirio’s story is a plot about another young Takunami boy who is also training for his soche sente tente, and the end connects the stories with a moving surprise. The vivid setting, imagined cultural particulars (Nelson invented the Takunami), and magical realism will captivate readers, as will Tirio’s complicated, shifting emotions of rage, abandonment, belonging, and love. - Copyright 2008 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2008 Gr 4-8-This story unfolds in alternating chapters, written from the viewpoints of two young members of an Amazonian tribe. On their 13th birthdays, Takunami boys must face a rite of passage into manhood, guided through danger by a spiritual connection with their fathers, whose identity remains a secret until after the trial. Though they have lived very different lives, Tirio and Luka are both preparing for this mentally and physically demanding test. Considered weak because of his disabled foot, Tirio was placed on the river in a "corpse canoe" by his mother at age six and rescued and adopted by an American anthropologist. Now almost 13, he feels drawn back to his village and longs to prove himself a Takunami man. Though Luka has been training for the test his entire life, he wrestles with unexpected events that threaten his success. A clever plot device links the characters and their personal struggles together. The setting is strikingly described and provides a vivid backdrop for the action. The language, rituals, and beliefs of the Takunami are well developed, and will have many readers looking for further information about them. Youngsters may feel duped to discover, in an appended author's note, that the tribe is imaginary, "based on an idea, and not a representation of any known Amazonian people." Nevertheless, this is a fast-paced and remarkable adventure story with surprising twists along the way.-Genevieve Gallagher, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville, VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2008 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2008 Tirio has always believed that he was cast out of his Amazonian tribe at a young age because of his deformed foot. Since then he has lived contentedly with his adoptive American mother, but as his thirteenth birthday approaches, he feels himself increasingly called back to his tribe, knowing that were he home, he would be embarking on a coming-of-age quest. Awaiting a forthcoming trip to the Amazon, Tirio begins plotting to escape from his mother and fulfill the challenge alone, thus proving to those who shunned him that he is strong, worthy, and part of the tribe. Tirio’s narration alternates with that of Luka, another member of Tirio’s Takunami tribe, who is readying himself for the same birthday quest. Ultimately, neither Tirio nor Luka completes the journey in the expected way: Luka is required to marry instead after his father suddenly dies, and Tirio is unable to make his way alone through the jungle because he is guided by an insistent voice in his head. In a clever twist, Luka’s story, which seems to be concurrent with Tirio’s, actually takes place years before, and it is only gradually revealed that the voice in Tirio’s head (who announces himself as Tirio’s father) is Luka. Unfortunately, the complex reasoning behind Tirio’s tribal rejection is muddy, making the entire premise rather unconvincing. In addition, the mixture of authentic Amazonian plants, cultures, and rituals into what is ultimately a fictional tribe of people set in a mostly created jungle-scape suggests generic exoticism and would be less confusing if notes explained the difference between fact and fiction. In spite of the issues, Nelson presents two compelling coming-of-age stories, both of which feature protagonists who are memorable for their flaws as well as the ways in which they compensate for them. AS - Copyright 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.