Sons of the People
by Janet Pesicka Watson
CHB Media

"Sometimes there are bad days.Those are the rocks. Other days are good... the feathers."

Clues from some 7000-year-old human remains found in Florida inspire this spectacular piece of prehistoric fiction. The book is an artfully constructed story about early clan communities. Action, suspense, climax, resolution, and skillful character development make this book absolutely engrossing and a superb read.

The protagonist, Onopato, is responsible for caring for his disabled brother, Tutuntee, including carrying him on his back almost continually. Another clan captures the two boys. However, the siblings end up teaching love, loyalty, patience, and perseverance through their example. But they teach most about individual value, showing that everyone has special gifts and distinctions. For instance, Tutuntee, despite his burden to Onopato, is an exceptional storyteller, weaver, and flint worker. Most notably, he is perceptive beyond his years. "There must be a hole in his heart where love once lived," thinks Tutuntee about the mean Toto, who once threw him into a river to drown.

Watson also writes of society's potential destruction through the uprising of "bad apples" who love and respect themselves alone. "He believed his perfection was his gift to himself," went the story of a prideful person, as Tutuntee tells it. But in this fictional tale, the braggart is eventually struck by lightning and deeply humbled.

Although written as middle school fiction, the book is enjoyable for all ages. Like a short version of the bestselling Clan of the Cave Bear, this book delivers to readers' imaginations what it meant to be sapient before recorded time. For some, this will be a riveting one-day read. Others will likely languish in a good story and interesting piece of history well told. Either way, this book promises pure enjoyment.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home