Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Lion Who Stole My Arm by Nicola Davies

Pedru is a young man living in Africa and raising crops with his family.  They chase away the animals that threaten their crops and take care walking out in the dark.  There are predators for humans, too.  Pedru finds that out first hand when a lion leaps on him and tries to drag him off.  He hits the lion in the head with the stick in hand and the lion leaves.  Unfortunately, the lion takes his arm with him...

Candlewick Press and Net Galley allowed me to download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  It will be published February 25th, so make a note to pick it up then.

I liked the way Ms. Davies put her story together.  Pedru is afraid he won't be a great hunter or provider like his father since the loss of his arm, but he learns how to use it his remaining arm efficiently.  He's determined to kill the lion that hurt him, so he has to become more proficient with his spear.  

When another villager is killed, the hunters all go out to stop the animal from more carnage.  Pedru is allowed to go along.  They get the lion but it's not the one that attacked Pedru.  However, it has a tracking collar on it and that needs to be returned to the scientists.  Pedru volunteers.  While there, he learns about how the collars work, which lion must have attacked him, and why they attacked.  Before lions had simply been enemies.  Now he's understands a bit about their lives and why a human can become prey.  He still wants revenge, though.

When Pedru, the scientist and his father go out to bait the lion, revenge is all he can think about.  He waits impatiently for the lion to show.  He's the only one with a good position to kill.  No one says a thing; they just wait for him to make a decision.  Unexpectedly, he lets the lion live. With that action, he set his course for life.

It's a good read about a young man coming of age and deciding the world is big place and should have room for all the animals living there, human included.

Happy reading.

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