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The Curse of the Raven Mocker Hardcover – 1 Sep 2003
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"Raven Mocker" named A Top Ten Book of 2003 -- Books & Culture Corner: The Top Ten Books of 2003
... a marvelous feat of imagination ... This is a book that is destined to become a classic and win many awards. -- The Baton Rouge Advocate (LA) 10/12/03
...best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. She writes like an angel ... who has learned what it is to be human. -- Books & Culture 12/22/03
...prose this luminous and a narrative this strong deserve wide readership... hope this beautiful novel reaches the audience it deserves -- The Memphis Commercial Appeal (TN) 11/20/03
Best Children's Book of 2003: "The Curse of the Raven Mocker" -- 12/28/03
Marvelous feat of imagination... This is a book that is destined to become a classic and to win many awards. -- Greg Langley, Bks. Ed.
Prose this luminous and narrative this strong deserve wide readership... We hope this beautiful novel reaches the audience it deserves. -- Memphis Commercial Appeal 11/23/03 Fredric Koeppel Bks. Ed.
Youmans...is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. She writes like an angel... -- Books & Culture John Wilson, Ed. 12/22/2003
From the Inside Flap
Weeks have gone by at the Little Cottage In Between since Adanta's sick father left on a mysterious quest to find the healing lake mentioned in the lore of the Cherokee. Since then a vistor has arrive, a man Adanta doesn't like--James or, as she's styled him, the Lean One. He claims to be her godfather, yet his attention is uncomfortably focused on Adanta's mother, Charlotte. One day, after witnessing the Lean One make a frightening incantation, Adanta finds that her mother has fallen under his spell, and he takes Charlotte away from the cottage. Left alone in a remote area of the Smoky Mountains, Adanta has no choice but to venture forth into the wilderness, in the hope of finding both her parents. To accomplish this goal, she must journey to Adantis, the secret home of the Hidden People deep in the mountains.
On her quest, Adanta finds many friends to help her along, but she also encounters untold dangers, not the least of which is the threat of the Raven Mockers--humans who are believed to take the form of birds and steal the remaining days of life from those who are hurt or ill. To protect herself, and potentially save her mother and be reunited with her father, will require all the strength and courage she can muster.See all Product description
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It is a short novel, but rich in detail and thus not as fast a read as it appears. Marketed at Young Adults, there is enough that is original and compelling about the book that it should not be overlooked by an older audience.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Note that Youmans wrote a "sequel" to this novel (not really a sequel, but set in the same world) called Ingledove, which I think is actually better.
I loved it A LOT. It was a very fun story with different turns and twists and magic and our modern world clashing with a magic world. It was quite cool how the story rolled out and I would love to see more books of this kind for people my age. My favorite part in the book was when she had to go on the long journey and got to stop by the pony fair. I liked how she found a friend and got new dresses and learned what a true Adantan is. One twist that really surprised me is why would their father move to the woods? And why would he go on a journey to find a lake? The only part I really didn't like was the end. It was very sad that his father did not make it and died. I really wish she would change that part to where she found her father and he made it to the magic pool in time and his life got saved and they went back home together and her mom remembered everyone and everything and they lived happily ever after. I would encourage readers my age and older to read this book and figure out the tales of the past and the old world.
The dearness of the values of family love, acceptance of grave personal purpose, and the courage to muster over again against what is terrible, shown especially in the young as she weaves her story, gives today's readers more than a book to bequeath to our children. This is a minor masterpiece of a handbook on how to live with open-eyed love in an often incomprehensibly dangerous world.
Even with all of that, much of value of The Curse of the Raven Mocker is a born teacher's easy stimulation of a reader's curiosity to need more of the rich background the author respectfully serves. There is plenty of convenient, graspable and interesting material related to Cherokee culture just waiting to be appreciated by Ms Youman's post-Mocker readers.