Christina's Reviews > Nation

Nation by Terry Pratchett
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Jul 14, 09

bookshelves: fantasy, actionadventure
Read in March, 2009

Fantastic book. Mau is paddling his canoe back from his coming-of-age ritual when a tidal wave hits the chain of islands where he lives, and his entire village is wiped out. He no longer has a family, a community or a home. And he doesn't feel like he even has a soul, because he did not get to complete the manhood ritual that his culture requires. But a ship from England has also wrecked on the island, and the only survivor is a girl about his age. Though they can't communicate very well at first (leading to some funny scenes!), they help each other to survive, and when others of his tribe start coming to the island for help, Mau has to become their leader and form a new community. A really funny and heartwarming story; Mau talks to the gods but starts to lose hope in them, especially when they make no sense. The girl, Ermintrude, reinvents herself as Daphne and uses her scientific knowledge to pitch in and help build the new Nation. Then there's the attack by cannibalistic raiders, when Mau really has to show he knows what he's doing--even when he doesn't. There's a lot in here about philosophy, religion, and the spirit, but it's not heavy at all, it's a great adventure story with lots to think about. Winner of the Printz Honor medal.
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