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Secret of the Andes (1952)

by Ann Nolan Clark

Other authors: Jean Charlot (Illustrator)

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1,562138,776 (3.52)27
An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Inca ancestors.
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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
I really wanted to like this book. I had such high hopes! It won the Newberry Award! What a disappointment! I read it aloud to my class of fifth graders. It was a labor of love..
It had so much potential. The subject matter and the setting alone could have made it interesting. Reading it aloud emphasized the stiff and unnatural writing. The story plodded along. I am glad its over! ( )
1 vote Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Newbery Medal 1953. Cusi, an Incan boy, lives with the aged Chuto high in the Andes in a Hidden valley. They care for the Inca's llamas. He learns his place in the mysterious world of the Inca. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
Ten or twenty pages into this book, I thought, "This is not grabbing me. I don't think I'm going to like it." But, since it was a Newbery winner, I kept plugging along. It never got better. This is one of the losers in the Newbery list. 1952 must have been a horrible year for children's literature if this was considered the best.
Cusi is an Incan boy who lives an isolated life on a mountaintop meadow with a herd of llamas and an old man who is his mentor. It is clear to the reader, though not to Cusi, that he is heir to some sort of Incan honor, and almost the entire book is spent with his incessant wondering why things happen to him. Why this? Why that? On and on and on. Towards the end, he makes a trip to the holy city of Cuzco, where not much happens, except that like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, he decides there's no place like home and he will return to the mountain top meadow home and his mentor. In the last couple of pages we also learn rather absurdly, that they are also up there keeping a vast treasure of gold hidden away from everyone in the world.
There. I've saved you the trouble of reading this book. You're welcome. For such a short little book (120 pages) it seemed to go on forever. ( )
1 vote fingerpost | Oct 22, 2018 |
I read this in a single day, over long plane rides. This is a quiet story, not super exciting but with small events of coming of age. I enjoyed the writing and the story.
I read it on the way to Peru. The novel helped get me in the mood and gave me some background of an Andean culture. The depiction of the places, especially the Salt Terraces of Maras gave what I learned on my travels a little imagination of what could have been. The novel takes place in "Modern Peru" but still more than 50 years ago, though I suppose it could take place today.

I drank a lot of coca leaf tea, partially for altitude while in Peru, especially before going to the highlands.

~~~Some spoilers ~~~

I was disappointed that Cusi, the lead character, was essentially turned away from what he wanted most, a family. The end to me was bittersweet of him creating happiness for himself but it came because he was turned away by those who he would have wanted to be with. However, while in Peru, I learned that it was customary for families with many children to have late children brought up away from the family, essentially given to the community for military or spiritual purposes and that gave me better understanding of what perhaps may have gone on in this novel. ( )
  kparr | Jul 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Nolan Clarkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Charlot, JeanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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"What are you doing, Cusi?" An old Indian stood looking down at a boy who lay on an overhanging rock, gazing into the valley below.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Inca ancestors.

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An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Inca ancestors.

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Average: (3.52)
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3 28
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