SON-OF-THUNDER by Stig Holmås


by & translated by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 14
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 By a Norwegian librarian who has `` `spent a lifetime' studying the Chiricahua Apaches,'' a novel that ``was named the Best Book for Children and Young People by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture'' in 1985. Orphaned two days after his birth in a massacre by Mexican troops, Son-of-Thunder is heroically transported by the village midwife, the only other survivor, to his uncle's family; he's raised with his cousin--the young Cochise--as a mentor, and comes to full manhood as a warrior in the well-organized attack on a Mexican fort during which the Apaches' military leader acquires the name ``Geronimo.'' HolmÜs's straightforward narrative is rather old-fashioned in its deliberate inclusion of instructive detail (e.g., the characters' exact apparel), and, while lucid, the text (at least in translation) has the choppy quality sometimes assumed in imitation of Native American speech. Still--though with neither the artistry nor the immediacy of Jan Hudson's Sweetgrass (1990) or O'Dell and Hall's Thunder Rolling in the Mountains (1992)-- it's an admiring, deeply sympathetic, sometimes vivid portrayal of these beleaguered tribes, culminating in a notable victory against their antagonists (shown here as predatory racists). Interesting because of its source, and for what truths it holds about a terrible conflict. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-943173-88-4
Page count: 128pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1993


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