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Author: Nina A. Nelson

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Tirio and Luka, two very different boys, will be turning 13 soon. They belong the Takunami tribe in the Amazon Jungle and are preparing themselves for the sache seche tente (the sixth sense test). To become a full tribal member, they must pass this test. Tirio, born with a deformed leg, was abandoned by the tribe. An archaelogist rescued and adopted him, and Tirio wants to prove that he is as capable as anyone. Luka has been training for the tests all of his life and had much family support in those efforts. Who would prevail? This is a coming-of-age story for two boys from the same Amazon tribe.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, interactive reading, remedial reader, reluctant reader

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 9 and up

Reading Level: 4.4

Age of Child: Read by student at Denbigh High School (Newport News, VA) as part of our Use Your ABCs program.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book because of the cover. I liked the book a lot and it is very interesting to read. I liked the part where he is in the jungle trying to complete his task and you don't know what's going to happen. I couldn't wait to read the whole book. If I were to promote this book, I would say it is an awesome book. I would buy this book for my family because I liked it and I think they would too.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an enjoyable and thought-provoking story. Readers will enjoy the story and will be expecting more of the same. The story is one that could readily be adapted for television by Hallmark for its books-to-movie series.

Pros: This book is a believable and intriguing adventure. The story is refreshing, imaginative, and captivating. It will interest pre-teen readers; reluctant readers will be motivated to keep reading, as well.

Cons: Our student reviewer says that the only downside to the book is that the whole story is based on one task.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is an excellent right-of-passage story that adolescent readers will appreciate.


Educational Themes: The book is a compelling “coming—of-age” piece that most adolescents will find enjoyable. Read or shared in the classroom, the book provides numerous opportunities for addressing issues and concerns about growing up and dealing with teenage issues.

Literary Categories: Fiction - cultures and tradition, multicultural, coming of age, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2008

Other Reviews:


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