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I read this book with my son when he was nine. It's the only chapter book that we read, just the two of us. That was 12 years ago, and I still cherish the memory of the special time that we shared over this wonderful, inspiring story. It is a "coming of age" story of a young boy who desperately wants to be counted among the men of his family, of his village. Eager to grow into his manhood in all the most honorable ways, he inspires us on every page with his eagerness, dedication, willingness to work hard and to sacrifice. I can't recommend this book highly enough to the mothers of young sons who yearn for the day when they can step into their "man" shoes.