Scholastic Booktalk

Snow filled the air until it was hard to see or even breathe. In spite of it, Lucabara, a young female Montmer, skied down the mountain on her long flat feet, going just as fast as she could. At the foot of Glentick Dell, she reached her destination, a snow-covered mound of earth. Digging near the top of the mound with her four-fingered paws, she uncovered a wooden door, with the name "Perloo" written on it. She banged on the door, shouting as loudly as she could, "Perloo, if you're there, let me in! It's important!!"

The words echoed down a long, dark, earthen tunnel to a two room burrow. Perloo lay on a bed of moss, dreaming of ancient Montmer heroes and their great deeds. He slept curled up inside his animal skin smock, with only one long and pointed ear outside it, which was why he heard Lucabara calling. Grumbling to himself, he got out of bed, lit a candle, and went to open the door.

"What took you so long?" Lucabara demanded. "Were you reading one of those old history books of yours?"

"Do I know you?" Perloo blinked at her, completely confused.

"I'm Lucabara, from the Central Tribe Burrow, and I bring you an important message from our leader Jolaine the Good. She is very ill, and wants you to come to her at once!"

But Perloo wasn't to be hurried, as he walked back into the burrow and began to make them cups of tea. Listening to Lucabara as she continued to talk, Perloo looked worried, and absentmindedly took a sip of the tea he was about to offer to her. "How ill is she?"

"It's probably fatal."

"Oh dry dust," Perloo whispered to himself, remembering all the conversations he'd enjoyed with the wise Montmer leader. "Very dry dust."

"Perloo, you must go see Jolaine. When she woke today she told me to bring you to her as soon as possible, and to tell no one! She said that seeing her was a matter of life and death. And she didn't mean her life and death. She was talking about the life and death of our entire Montmer tribe!"

Perloo, the scholar and historian, short, plump, dumpy, and bashful, is about to become Perloo the Bold, leader of the Montmer tribe. But it won't be easy – Berwig, Jolaine's only cub, is determined to inherit his mother's title, and will stop at nothing to see that Perloo and Lucabara are totally eliminated.

This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart