A fairy tale–like story about growing up and claiming one’s place in the wide, mysterious world.
Old Stone, a wise past leader of his ibex clan, is watching the mountains one day when he spots a strong young alpinist scaling the rock face. The worlds of ibex and human have been separate for as long as anyone can remember, yet Old Stone is drawn to this particular human. Although he ascends higher than any other human Old Stone has seen, the alpinist eventually falls, causing Old Stone to rush to his side. As the ibex reaches the man, however, he finds a human baby, who is now, it would seem, an orphan. To the chagrin of the herd’s alpha males, Old Stone and his friend Nan raise the child, whom they name Blue Sky for the color of her eyes. While Blue Sky’s childhood is for the most part as carefree as any other young ibex’s, her existence eventually forces Old Stone and Nan to retreat from the herd each winter—seasonal banishment for their adopting a human child. As she grows, Blue Sky begins to question her origins and her purpose: is she meant to live her entire life as an ibex? Why, when she spies the occasional human on the mountain, does she feel such a longing to join this other, somewhat alien species? Who were her mother and father, and why can she understand the language of dreams? The answers become even more evasive when Blue Sky rescues a boy, Gaston, from the icy peak and begins to learn more about the world beyond the mountains. Author Kindall has crafted a dreamy story that will appeal to young readers because the narrative’s straightforward language and simplicity are easy to navigate. Parents may also find that the subject—finding the courage to strike out on your own and discover your life’s path—is fitting for children just beginning to understand the world of adults.
A subject and telling too simple for teenagers, but younger readers will be enchanted.