The handwritten diary of a twelve-year-old boy offers readers a perspective on the Yanomami tribe that takes him in when his plane crashes, a story that follows such adventures as Alex's participation in the rescue of a kidnapped girl.
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Subtitled ``The Jungle Adventures of Alex Winters,'' this is a slice of the fictitious life of sixth grader Alex Winters, who details his trip to the Amazon through a handwritten journal that includes his scribblings, snapshots, and drawings. A plane crash provides an unforeseen opportunity for Alex to live among the Yanomami, or ``Fierce People.'' Overcoming great fear and overwhelming obstacles, Alex witnesses wild and unfamiliar religious practices and quickly learns to hunt alligator and tapir, eat roasted grubs, battle electric caterpillars, fire ants, and lice. By no means a complete portrait of the Yanomami, this is an accessible glimpse into the daily life of these isolated rainforest dwellers, a valuable starting place for discussion. Talbott (Excalibur, p. 1057) and Greenberg have created an account of Alex's adventures that makes for an exciting story, albeit a farfetched one. In a book crafted with the goal of teaching respect for other cultures, the blond-hero-who-drops-out-of-the-sky-and- saves-the-day-with-technology ending is patronizing and hard to swallow. (Picture book. 7+) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6?At first glance, this book appears to take a surface look at the Yanomami of the Amazon rain forest. However, it has a hidden depth. Written in diary format with a hand-lettered text, the story follows Alex, a sixth grader who is traveling to visit his anthropologist parents. His plane crashes and he and the injured pilot are taken to the village of the "fierce people." As the boy waits for the pilot to recover, he gets to know the Yanomamis. His descriptions of his adventures gives readers a certain amount of information, including how the people hunt and the arrangement of their community. Full-color snapshots and illustrations show how the Yanomami exist from day to day. As Alex infers in his diary, they truly seem to be a people who exist entirely away from the modern world. While the information is a bit simplified, this title would be a popular choice for students interested in the environment or the rain forest. For a more in-depth look at the Yanomani people, try David M. Schwartz's Yanomami (Lothrop, 1994).?Melissa Hudak, North Suburban District Library, Roscoe, IL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin Books, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140562494