Heart of a Jaguar by Marc Talbert

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Synopsis

When a severe drought threatens a Mayan village, Balam, on the brink of manhood, kills a jaguar as an offering to the gods, but the village elders believe that only a human sacrifice will appease the gods.
 

About Marc Talbert

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Marc Talbert is a well-known youg adult author who has written ten novels, three of them set in New Mexico. He lives in Tesuque, New Mexico, with his family.
 
Published October 1, 1995 by Athenum. 216 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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``He understood that everything was messed up and that nothing was going to get better anytime soon.'' Luke's father, Patrick, is coming back from Vietnam, but when they meet at the Des Moines airport, Luke's heroic visions crumple: Instead of the laughing, robust figure he remembers, his father-...

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For readers who believe that ancient civilizations make for dry and dusty realms, Talbert (The Purple Heart, 1992, etc.) offers a heart-stopping story of mythic proportion.

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Publishers Weekly

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Elementary-school-age Luke is elated when his father returns home after being wounded in Vietnam.

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Publishers Weekly

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Balam tags along when the bachelors set out on a retaliatory raid, but gets lost in the forest, where a nighttime encounter with a jaguar marks him as a man at last-and as the only person whose death will appease the gods and the rival tribe.

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