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Saturday, the Twelfth of October

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  35 reviews
After spending almost a year with cave people from an earlier time, a young girl is transported back to the present greatly changed, both by her experience and by the fact that no one believes her.
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 15th 1976 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1975)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  202 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Megan
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books as a kid. Was thrilled to discover it is still a good book when I read it as an adult. Zan, the protagonist, is transported back in time to a (presumed) prehistoric tribe. Zan's time with these people is a well written comming of age story. We never do learn who exactly the tribe is or why Zan was taken to them. All we know is that her transportation takes place in public when she is emotionally distraught ~ she spends quite a few months with this tribe and is m ...more
Cheryl
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Impressive. This would actually be darn good for adult fans of Time Travel SF to read. And fans of Clan of the Cave Bear, for that matter. There is a clue that Mazer, she of the 'issues' novels, wrote it, in that a big concern is how a society responds to women's menstruation, esp. to ritual (or lack thereof) attached to a teen's first blood. But it's about a lot more than that.

It's even got a philosophical thing going on that has nothing to do with the multiple themes of 'civilized' vs. 'primi
...more
Holly
Oct 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Too bad this is out of print. I remember this book vividly, checking it out from the Goleta Valley Library. Zan is somehow taken back in time and taken in by a cavedwelling tribe a la Clan of the Cave Bear but with less sex. There's a bit where Zan watches as the tribal elder cuts off her friend's finger with a rock--I think it was part of the rite of passage thing. Still sticks with me.
Beatrice Gormley
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
A 14-year-old girl, Zan, struggling with challenges and miseries common to teens of our time, finds herself suddenly transported to a prehistoric era. Frantic and homesick at first, she gradually adapts to life with the local tribe, learning to relish raw eggs and sleep comfortably in the same bed with a whole extended family.
Mazer brings her Stone Age world, a kind of paradise, vividly to life. The characters are appealing and the story engrossing, with a bittersweet but satisfying ending. Alth
...more
Kiri
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kiri by: Libby
I remember a friend up the street lending me this book. It was great. I recall it had a super bright blue sky on the cover and these wild jungle type plants and the girl standing there in the middle.
Maureen Mcdonald
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read this book years ago and loved it, but forgot the title. Have been trying to find it for ages, the story stayed with me even if the title did not. So happy to have found it again and can't wait to read it again
JK
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childhood-reads
I read this as a kid and LOVED this book. I couldn't remember the title to save my life and would google periodically to see if I could find it... and today I did. YAY!
Andria
The very best YA books are the ones that, when you reread them as an adult, still engage your imagination while also leading you to insights you missed the first time around. This, then, is one of the very best.

14-year-old Zan starts out feeling disconnected from the world. She is so desperate to be seen that plays "the eye game," in which she tries to compel strangers on the street to make eye contact with her and "[pierce] the numbing anonymity of the street, if only for a moment." One of her
...more
Debbie
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this since it is a time-travel story, but in reality, it is less about time travel and more historical fiction. It reminded me of "Clan of the Cave Bear".
Zan (Alexandria) travels to a pre-historic era via a mysterious stone (think "Outlander"). Norma Fox Mazer must have done a great deal of research into prehistoric peoples. The details of their diet, customs, animals and habitat are conveyed in a realistic and entertaining way. The story alternates views from Zan as well as se
...more
Lara
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, time-travel
One of the first time-travel books I read (as I plowed voraciously through literally every book in my middle-school library tagged Science Fiction or Fantasy) in which the protagonist did not adjust immediately to her new time period and become a functioning member of primitive society, but instead cries, whines, cowers, and is useless for a good long while before at least partially getting her act together. I was both shocked, and somehow comforted.
Victoria Bruton
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of my favorite fantasy books growing up. I think I read this, like 20 times
Joyce
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-and-f, young-adult
I read this book many years ago and it has stuck with me. It's out of print but is worth hunting down for someone in middle school or early high school who likes fantasy.
Cynthia Machata
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-lit
One of my favorites from my teen years
NATUI
Sep 03, 2010 added it
Shelves: wishlist
Read as a kid and was ENTHRALLED. Need to read again
Rd
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this in middle school and I remember strongly identifying with Zan, who was a girl my age that didn't seem to fit in anywhere. The worldbuilding and character development was fantastic.
Kim
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books as a kid. Actually found a copy and reread as an adult, and enjoyed it almost as much as the first time I read it!
Hilary
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was 15, and have never forgotten it. Years later I found it again. Great story, one of a kind.
Danielle
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, 1970s
I really like several other Norma Fox Mazer books. I've avoided this one because time travel/cave people is not at all my thing. It still isn't. I had to force myself through this, and it was rough. I mean, it was boring! I felt nothing for any of the characters or their lives. I didn't enjoy any of the world building around the People and their social structure or belief systems.

It might have helped if this novel were in first person, instead of Zan did this, Zan did that, Zan wanted to go home
...more
Jennifer Heise
I would really give this a 2.5, because even though I loved Norma Fox Mazer as a teen, I just really couldn't get into this one. Perhaps because I couldn't understand the main character's reaction to being thrown back in time and her resistance to interacting with the people-- but also because the gentle culture felt a little too simplistic, and what happened later on a little too forced.
At least I'm not alone in thinking that the books of our teenage years set out psychologists as all trying t
...more
Christine
I read this for the first time in 1977, at age 12, and loved it. Since I’ve been wanting to track down a copy for years, I decided to re-read it this month: when October 12th does fall on a Saturday. : )

I loved it just as much... partially due to nostalgia, in all honesty, but also because it’s a very original book. A bit like urban fantasy, before there *was* much urban fantasy. The author was a very popular middle-grades writer in that era (1970s), and I plan to re-read more of her work.

Full
...more
Hillary
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fantastic - Mazer is an incredibly talented writer. I was completely immersed in this world. But I can't believe the synopsis on the back cover gives away the ending (and the one in Goodreads is even more explicit than that)! Fortunately I didn't read it too closely, so it wasn't spoiled for me.
elissa
Sep 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I remember, very clearly, reading this on a family vacation. This was my first book by Mazer, and she became one of my favorite authors at the time.
Darcy
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i love the whole go back in time deal. i wished there was more.
also didn't like the roughness of swearing & pushing her during the mugging, my kids don't either.
...more
Deena Thomson
Mar 01, 2011 is currently reading it
read as a kid and now rereading again many many yrs later
Jared
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat flawed in its presentation of the prehistoric, yet poignant and haunting. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year.
WitchyD
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an odd time travel or timeslip story for young adults, and along with Cat in the Mirror, are some of the first time travel stories I remember reading.
That said, this is a particularly odd timeslip story, both because of the title of the novel and the topic of the teenage protagonist Zan living with a prehistoric tribe of people after falling asleep in the park by a boulder. Zan is not perfect by any means, but teens today will probably find it relatable. I know I did. For me, this is a
...more
Julia Bird
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was incredible. I don't just mean incredible as in extremely well done, which it mostly is, but that it continued to shock me, draw me in, thrash me around, and throw me out again. The book mingled with my own dreams, and the fact that I read it whilst sick and in isolation made it all the more riveting and relatable.

For me, this was not a feel-good book, nor did it have a particularly "happy" ending. It made me angry, but this was because I cared so deeply for Zan, for Burrum, Lishum, Sont
...more
Samantha
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5. Enjoyed this a lot, but hated the ending.
Melissa
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As good as it was when I read it as a teen.
Dichotomy Girl
I missed this one in my childhood, though I read many others by this author. I enjoyed it, but felt there was a lack of resolution. I want to know why!
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Norma Fox Mazer was an American author and teacher, best known for her books for children and young adults.

She was born in New York City but grew up in Glens Falls, New York, with parents Michael and Jean Garlan Fox. Mazer graduated from Glens Falls High School, then went to Antioch College, where she met Harry Mazer, whom she married in 1950; they have four children, one of whom, Anne Mazer, is a
...more

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