A tense murder mystery, with a courageous young heroine falsely accused plus a stampede of mammoths and just enough crone's magic to add spice to the solution. Shiva, who discovered the Great Skull of Saber in time to prevent a war between her people and the Neanderthal ``ogres'' (Shiva, 1990), finds the body of an old woman at a water hole. Before she can return to her own people with the news, she's captured by a rival tribe who inform her that the old woman was the ``Hag,'' elected by the crones of each tribe and extremely powerful. Beaten, judged, and condemned to death by stoning, Shiva is saved by a cleverly engineered stampede and by her secret friends, the ogres. Throughout, Brennan integrates the theory that the great cave paintings were created by artists trying to communicate what they had seen during experiences in the spirit world. The Hag and the tribal crone overseeing Shiva's education are both capable of out-of-body experiences; Shiva's growing abilities to ``see'' and the fact that such a valuable person might be lost in a petty tribal power struggle add to the tension. Unevenly paced and less closely knit than Shiva, but still an atmospheric, engrossing tale. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-020741-8

Page Count: 275

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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After witnessing the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, Daniel is suddenly transported, at age 14, from his comfortable life in Frankfurt to a Polish ghetto, then to Auschwitz and Buchenwald—losing most of his family along the way, seeing Nazi brutality of both the casual and the calculated kind, and recording atrocities with a smuggled camera (``What has happened to me?...Who am I? Where am I going?''). Matas, explicating an exhibit of photos and other materials at the new United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, creates a convincing composite youth and experience—fictional but carefully based on survivors' accounts. It's a savage story with no attempt to soften the culpability of the German people; Daniel's profound anger is easier to understand than is his father's compassion or his sister's plea to ``chose love. Always choose love.'' Daniel survives to be reunited, after the war, with his wife-to-be, but his dying friend's last word echoes beyond the happy ending: ``Remember...'' An unusual undertaking, effectively carried out. Chronology; glossary. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-590-46920-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1993

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Its focus firmly on the details of mountaineering in the French Alps and the Himalayas—mechanics, technique, lore, social milieu—a simplistic novel about an unlikely superheroine (though already making record-breaking climbs while still in her teens, her only major injury occurs early on when a guide hazes her by giving her a double load) who achieves worldwide recognition for her exploits in the 1950's. The tacked-on plot—minor setbacks, a romance with another climber—has less depth than most comic strips and reads like an old-fashioned adulatory biography. Roper is obviously well-acquainted with climbing, and for anyone interested in the subject there's a wealth of information here; he should have omitted the feeble story and added an index. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-316-75606-7

Page Count: 188

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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