December 22, 2014
Lug: Dawn of the Ice Age by David Zeltser
Lug: Dawn of the Ice Age
by David Zeltser
Except for the fact that everyone lives in caves and bashes each other with rocks, this felt a lot like middle school. Seriously.
Lug is an artist but in caveman society being an artist will get you banished. As much as Lug hates hiding who he is, he doesn’t want to be banished because then he would never see his parents or his sister again.
Oddly, it isn’t his art work that leads to his banishment. Nope. The problem comes when his clan is getting ready for the next big game of Headstone (bashing the other team in the head with a rock). Any man who fails to capture a cave llama to ride in the game will be banished. Let’s just say that with the help of the clan bullies, Lug and another boy end up being banished. How will they ever get the clan to let them return?
But banishment isn’t there only problem. Lug has noticed that its getting colder — artists are very observant, don’t you know. The trees are losing their leaves and the orchids are dying. Cave llama have been disappearing. How is at all connected?
In the course of their adventures, Lug and Stony become friends and make friends with members of the enemy clan. They discover cooler weather doesn’t just mean that plants are dying. It also means that new animals are moving into the area. Some of them are herbivores. Some of them are not.
The book is listed as appropriate for grades 3 to 7. With the occassional black-and-white spot illustration, this book has the feel of a chapter book, skewing it for the younger members of this audience. But it is about 180 pages long, longer than your typical chapter book. This longer length and older themes (growing into yourself, bullying) make the book good for slightly older readers who want something funny but not terribly difficult. This would be a great book, because of its length, to bolster the confidence of a reluctant reader.