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Blue Mountain

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Tuk the bighorn sheep is told he will be the one to save his herd, but he is young and would rather play with his bandmates than figure out why the herd needs saving. As humans encroach further and further into their territory, there is less room for the sheep to wander, food becomes scarce, and the herd's very survival is in danger. Tuk and his friends set out to find Blu ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published September 1st 2014)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  115 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Celeste Swanson
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Tuk is a Bighorn Sheep, and when he is born it is foretold that he will save the heard from scarcity of food and the threat of predators. As Tuk leads the heard of Bighorn Sheep to the Blue Mountain, he and the heard must weigh the consequences of taking an unknown journey and decide if this will lead them to safety or to their undoing. This novel, by Martine Leavitt, touches on the environmental impact of urban sprawl, and offers a picture of what life is like for Bighorn Sheep.

This novel had m
This versatile author is hard to pin down since of the three books I've read by her--Keturah and Lord Death, My Book of Life by Angel and Blue Mountain--all three are quite different and yet satisfying. I love when authors continue to surprise me, and this one certainly does. In this book, suited perfectly for middle graders, Tuk seems different from the rest of the bighorn sheep from his birth. He is strong, nimble, fearless, and curious. The herd is under threat from predators, the weather, an ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Told from Tuk a young Bighorn sheep's point of view, this lyrical tale follows the trek he pursues along with a few other yearling bighorn sheep to find a safer home. Their herd is becoming weaker and smaller every year, due to lack of food, encroachment of humans in their territory, and predators who attack them because of their dwindling numbers, and the inherent trait of these peaceable creatures not to fight back. Tuk the largest bighorn ever seen by the herd becomes the leader traveling thr ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
BLUE MOUNTAIN is a National Book Award Finalist. The story is about Tuk, a young bighorn sheep, who can see the Blue Mountain, which others cannot. He knows that this is a place he must lead his herd to that will provide safety and peacefulness from the threatening humans and their machines. Along the way are many dangers and Tuk and his young friends learn to be brave and resourceful in order to stay alive. The story is very well written and reads like a fable. There is a great lesson to learn ...more
Brandy Painter
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm the wrong reader for this book because I hate animal stories. And this one wasn't compelling enough to help me overcome that. It's about sheep ya'll. Sheep.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Gentle adventure story for middle schoolers who love endangered animals. The bighorn sheep are anthropomorphized if animal fantasy is a problem for you. But their struggle for survival is real.
Cynthia Fountain
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for young people!!
Amanda Song
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am still unsure on my exact feelings on this book. It might be more of a 3.5, but I love Martine Leavitt's latest book, Calvin, so I am a bit biased. :)
Something I'd like to mention is that it seems like a children's book. The way the story is told seems very simple and plain, but then again, so is the general plot! There isn't really much to review either; this book is less than 200 pages and is about bighorns. I think the best way to summarize this entire book is "quaint". In other words, "a
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm having trouble pinning down my exact feelings on this interesting, but strange, little book. On one hand, I loved the concept and the message, but on the other hand, the writing style was hard for me to get used to.

As I mentioned, I loved the idea and message behind this book. I think it is immensely important for kids (and adults!) to understand the natural world and that our actions can affect plants and animals and ecosystems. So for that I give huge kudos to Martine Leavitt.

However, the
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Blue Mountain by Martine Leavitt is a quirky, tender book that follows the life of Tuk, a bighorn sheep. Humans are encroaching on his herd's territory, and Tuk is the only bighorn who can see the faraway Blue Mountain, a place where his herd might be able to live in peace.

Blue Mountain is a quiet and rather short middle grade book. It's a simple story, with a straightforward plot and kid-friendly vocabulary. Yet it's also a profound look at a serious and timely subject––human impact on the natu
Jun 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Well. This is a solid, and often lovely, animal fable. But it's not - quite - "Bambi", and it certainly isn't "Keturah and Lord Death". Tuk is the largest mountain goat kid born in generations, a natural leader. His people are under assault by predators and by man. At first, the others think Tuk might be a the leader to save them, but, when he kills a cougar kit in defense of a friend, the elders are deeply disturbed. His folk are peaceful; they do not fight back. Will Tuk become the leader he s ...more
Kay Carman
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: survival, sheep, species
This animal fantasy is told from the perspective of a year-old bighorn sheep who has a vision of a mountain where his dwindling herd can prosper, and leads a scouting party to ascertain whether it really exists. They face many challenges in the natural world, but the greatest for Tuk comes from man - biologists who capture and tag him. I believe this practice to be inhumane, and what Tuk submits to in order to free himself of the tag in his ear reminds me of what I've heard of animals caught in ...more
Tuk the bighorn sheep is told he will be the one to save his herd, but he is young and would rather play with his bandmates than figure out why the herd needs saving. As humans encroach further and further into their territory, there is less room for the sheep to wander, food becomes scarce, and the herd's very survival is in danger. Tuk and his friends set out to find Blue Mountain, a place that Tuk sometimes sees far in the distance and thinks might be a better home. The journey is treacherous ...more
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the rolling Alberta foothills and majestic Rocky Mountains is born Tuk, the largest lamb born that spring among a flock of Bighorn Sheep. He is one of the few with the ability to see the "Blue Mountain", a place devoid of man and danger. The flock's territory is diminishing, the winter grazing lands inaccessible and predators hunt them relentlessly. Particularly compelling are the folktales Tuk tells his lamb-mates to calm and reassure them. Vividly descriptive of the dangers facing the Bigho ...more
Debbie Tanner
I liked this National Book award nominee a lot. It's about a a big horned sheep called Tuk. Tuk has a vision of a blue mountain and takes a band of yearling sheep on a quest to find a better place to live. It's an arduous journey with many dangers, including a puma and a wolf with revenge on their minds, a wolverine, a chatty otter and man lurking around the edges. The story read like a folk tale but each of the characters had a really distinctive (and sometimes hilarious) voice. I thought it wa ...more
Jul 20, 2016 added it
Shelves: middle-grade
A touching story about a band of bighorn sheep making a journey to find a new place to live when their mountain home is threatened by encroaching human development. Along the way they encounter a wolverine, a bear, and a cougar. The young bighorn sheep, Tuk, who leads the band is put through the paces. The author doesn't spare him trouble. Tuk's responses to each confrontation are fresh.

All of Martine Leavitt's writing shows such care, thought, honesty, and intelligence. She's one of our best wr
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Blue Mountain is about Tuk, a bighorn, who wants to do what's best for hid herd, since the humans started building machines that are taking up the space where the bighorns rome in the winter. Tuk has always been able to see Blue Mountain, but others call it story mountain because very few saw it and fewer believed it. Since the herd is desperate, Tuk and his team gets together and goes on an adventure to Blue Mountain - where no human, or predator could find them. Blue Mountain is about despirat ...more
Karen & Gerard
Blue Mountain by Martine Leavitt is told by Tuk, who is a Bighorn sheep! At first, life is good--running, jumping and playing. However, when Tuk becomes the leader of the herd, he must find a safe place for them or all will be lost.

This book was a National Book Award finalist. So that should give you some idea of just how good this is. The author wrote this book for her grandchildren, but I think young and old will enjoy it like I did!
(Gerard's review)
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
3.5 stars really. This was one of those weird books that felt like it was written for adults more than children. It was beautifully written, philosophical, and had the folklore and trickster elements that I generally love. I was reminded a lot of "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon." There is lots of animal death, turmoil, and conflict, all of which intimately connect the reader with the reality of nature, but unfortunately, I'm not sure how many kids will really connect with the story.
Rebecca McNutt
Move over, Bambi, Blue Mountain is here!
Interesting albeit rather pointless little book, which seems to have some kind of enviro-hippie lesson under its innocent text. I think it's a little slow for a middle-grade novel; with its limited vocabulary and not-so-subtle themes, it seems more appropriate for really young children.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I chose this because my students are really into animal stories and I wanted some new recommendations for them, but I'm not the audience for this book. Perhaps someone who enjoys animals stories would give it a higher rating.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
While there is good information in this book and a nice story about animal survival in the wake of human incursion to their habitat, I personally felt the tone of the book was a bit stilted. This would be a good book for 3-5 grade students.
Paula Hollohan
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, poetic, wonderful animal voices. Fable-like quality. Grades 4-7 -animals are ageless. Use, especially, as a writing example for 5th grade fractured fairy tales. This author writes her own stories for the animals to pass down with mountain as a creator.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tuk, a bighorn sheep, is born to lead his herd to the fabled Blue Mountain at a time when they are threatened by predators, decreased food supply, and human encroachment. An absorbing, gracefully written story with a folkloric quality reminiscent of Watership Down.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it
The writing was bit flat and emotionless, but the concept was interesting and this would appeal to those who love animal or adventure stories. It's also a shorter book, so appealing for more reluctant readers.
C Dussault
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this book rocks wish their could be another book
Maddie H
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book had a great message. I'm giving it 5stars FOR a children's book. I think maybe
3-6 graders would enjoy it
Yamile Méndez
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful epic story of a big horn sheep. In the style of Watership Down. I loved it. beautiful language as usual for a Martine Leavitt book
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals
The style of this story reminded me of the types of stories I read as a child. Tuk, leads a band of bighorn sheep to a new mountain, away from man.
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Martine Leavitt has published ten novels for young adults, most recently Calvin, which won the Governor General’s Award of Canada. My Book of Life by Angel was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year. Other titles by Leavitt include Keturah and Lord Death, a finalist for the National Book Award, Tom Finder, winner ...more
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