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COME, LLAMAS by Jennifer Morris

COME, LLAMAS

By Jennifer Morris

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-73197-3
Publisher: Delacorte

Good intentions and informative details can’t overcome flat characterization and a clunky, predictable plot in this middle-grade story set on an Alaskan llama ranch. J.T. Kinnaman, the nine-year-old narrator tells readers how much he loves his 86-year-old grandfather, how eager he is to raise his own llama (and thus feel like a full partner in the family business), and how hard he works to improve his skills and become the pitcher of his baseball team. Meanwhile, Grandad’s health is failing, a bear breaks in and attacks the llamas, and J.T.’s llama, Elmo, is lost and injured. Unfortunately, though it’s clear that Morris knows plenty about her subject, she fails to bring either characters or setting to life. Readers won’t be particularly surprised to discover that Grandad’s illness is fatal, that J.T. manages to nurse Elmo back to health, and that he eventually finds a measure of relief from his grief in carrying on the work of the family ranch. Earnest but unengaging. (Fiction 9-12)