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THE LISTENING SILENCE by Phyllis Root

THE LISTENING SILENCE

By Phyllis Root (Author) , Dennis McDermott (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-06-025092-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

 In a fantasy based on Native American lore, a young woman confronts her destiny as a healer. Kiri, in whose imaginary tribe men and women share duties as equals, has the power of entering the mind and sensations of an animal or person. Adopted by a healer who recognizes her gift, she fears the responsibility and pain it will bring and is reluctant to undertake the vision quest that will test its validity. Meanwhile, Garen, a young man with a warped sense of his identity, goes on his quest at the same time; when the two meet, Kiri's conscience drives her to heal him, and in the process she receives her own vision. She also perceives the nature of Garen's true calling, but realizes he must find it for himself. Kiri's survival in the wild, relying on song and story as well as on her own enterprise and making friends with a wolf-like ``wolken'' (Root invents names for her woodland plants and animals and even provides a glossary), adds interest to the predictable outcome of the vision quest, as does the spare, carefully honed narration. McDermott's full-page b&w illustrations, dark and dramatic, enhance the attractive open format. (Fiction. 8-12)