Saturday 13 March 2010

Review: Zan-Gah - Allan Richard Shickman

 Zan-Gah by Allan Richard Shickman
A pre-historic adventure

Genre: YA adventure
Pages: 160
Published: 2007

The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes: survival, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, nature's wonders and terrors.

I wanted to read this book in order to really read a book and think about those it was meant for. To try to look past me.

This is the story of Zan who in the beginning kills a lion, one the tribes are hunting because it had eaten a child. By this people have new respect for him, and this is the time he sets out to find his twin that was lost 1 year ago. The road there is filled with dangers from animals, nature and hostile strangers.

This is a book that I would recommend for young boys, yes sure girls could like it too but I do think boys would really fall for this one. First there is the danger of the hunt for young Zan, the hunt where he manages to bring down a might lion. Then there is his dangerous trip. He only has himself. He have to find his own food and kill it. He invents a new kind of weapon, the sling and with this he can catch rabbits, and more. He learns how to take care of himself, he gets taken captive by a hostile tribe and he does have one great adventure trying to find his long lost brother.

He is a strong character and even though it is never mentioned how young he is, I knwo he is pretty young. The author also explains things that people back then did grow up more quickly, and had children early. And also that they died earlier. That is a good part of this book, the subtle explanations of things that is good to learn. Without it being to, learn this and by that perhaps making it boring. Now it really a part of the story.

He also deals with some darker issues like a trauma someone gets, how Zan-s uncle got tired of was and killing, and how harsh reality was back then. If they did not find food, the tired got weak and soon the were too tired to even hunt.

For myself this was an interesting little adventure about a young boy coming of age in such a different time. It made me think that there is not much fiction out there about this era, ok I know some but it would be nice with more.

It says ages 11 and up, somewhat younger kids could read it too, and of course adults too,

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Come on, boys could pick that right.
Reason for Reading: The publisher sent it to me
Final thoughts: I do think young boys would enjoy this one


  1. Even though this is so not my cup of tea it does sound like something my younger boy students would enjoy!

  2. This sounds pretty cool! If I ever have a boy I will remember this title. haha! Great review :)

  3. I was thinking that this was much deeper into history than you usually read! ;)

  4. I still have this one to read. I am wondering if it will be my cup of tea!

  5. Great review! I thought there was a couple of disturbing scenes there which I'm not certain if is appropriate for children 10-11. Perhaps I'm just being to sensitive when I'm trying to think like I'm 11? ;)

    I will be reviewing this shortly as well, but I thought I might read the second book and write a combined review(haven't quite decided what to do yet).

  6. I have this one in my TBR also, it seems so different. Great review ;)

  7. Ladybug
    Hm, I did try to think like a kid, but that is sure not easy. I took a scene for something but perhaps the kids wouldn't look at it the same way. So perhaps that 11 limit is the best.

    I wondered about that too, but ended up this way

    One needs something different now and again :D

  8. I haven't read much about this era either.

  9. Alyce
    sad really, they should write more because I did enjoy Auel and Sue Harrison. But those are like the only few I have read

  10. I don't think this one is my cup 'o tea, but I bet my daughter would like it. She's never been much of a girlie girl.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  11. Lol, I was such a mix. All those books about horses and then reading about the Hardy boys :)

  12. WOW! All of a sudden the Zan-Gah orders have started pouring in. I don't know what happened. It must be all of those blog reviews I have been getting lately. Not a single order for a while, and suddenly I am selling Zan-Gah by the case! I may even have to go to press again (3rd printing!). My thanks to you, to my many reviewers, and to all of my new readers. People are paying attention. (Excuse me if I repeat myself. I am writing to everybody.)

  13. I am so glad to hear that Allan :D
    *crossing fingers for a 3 print*



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