THE LION by Joseph Kessel


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An adult best-seller of 1960 reissued for grades 6-9 concerns itself with a ten year-old girl grown up with wild animals in the Kipling tradition, with Freudian overtones which the children won't recognize. The beauty of Kenya and its inhabitants is overwhelming, the drama persistent and weird. Patricia's father, a lion of a man, turns from a career as legendary hunter to become warden of an English game preserve. The child has been brought up so attuned to wild animals that a lion cub she has raised becomes her sisters and brothers, her slave, her obsession, and her potential lover. The mother, driven toward unbalance by her child's preoccupation with ""King"", the lion, begs a visitor to help. Because Patricia knows that this stranger shares her extra-sensory passion for the animals, she allows him into their world, but he is able to help only when the laws of nature take over and the child is released through tragedy. Whether or not the psychologists would accept this book as healthy fare for the junior high school group, the , magic proximity of wild life and bizarre experience should hold any age level.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1962
Publisher: Knopf