Title: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
Author: Allan Richard Shickman
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure
Age Levels: 4th-9th Grade
Zan-Gah is a 14 year old boy living with a small group of families in the prehistoric era. Hunters and gatherers, his small tribe survives by being fierce hunters. Guilty over his brother's disappearance from the tribe, Zan-Gah goes off alone into the wilderness to try and find him. Along the way, he faces danger after danger, growing from a young boy into manhood during his three year journey.
Getting boys to read can be a real challenge. Jon Sczieska even has an initiative called Guys Read to encourage more boys to read. So finding a book like Zan-Gah is like a gift to teachers or parents trying to find exciting, engaging stories for boys. Zan-Gah has all of the things that the stereotypical boy would like-danger, daring escapes, heroism. Shickman has created a world that is both informative and exciting. It reminded me a little bit of Clan of the Cavebear for kids. As coming of age stories go this one is pretty unique. Never mind the trials and tribulations of middle school or the divorced parents-this is like coming of age on steroids. The action is non-stop, and in amongst the action there are some good lessons on overcoming fear and standing by the people you love.