by Justin Denzel
Set in the stone age, The Boy of the Painted Cave is about a young orphan boy named Tao who was born with a club foot. His greatest desire is to become an artist, and paint in the Sacred Cave. But the tribe will never choose him for this honor because of his unknown parentage and crippled foot. Finding himself more or less an outcast, Tao starts roaming the wilds around his home and through observation discovers that some things his tribe has taught the people to fear are falsehoods. He also befriends a wild dog, a creature the tribe fears and loathes. Eventually Tao convinces a shaman to teach him the painter's skill in secret, and then tries to find a way back into his tribe; not just as an accepted member, but as one who can bring them advantages (the dog) and honor (his art). Not too in-depth (written for ages 8-12) but a well-written imaginative story that kept me curious to see what would happen next.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 160 pages, 1988