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Reviewed by Hayley Haun for Readers' Favorite
“We will never know the truth of his death regarding the motivation or circumstances. Yet we as people are designed to question and wonder, which in turn leads to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding about his culture and our own.” (Author’s Note, XIV). In September 1991, deep in the Italian Alps, a mummy was discovered. But this was no mere mummy. Ötzi, or Frozen Fritz as he came to be known, is the oldest cold case in history (as far as we know). Questions abound about his existence. Why did he die on those mountains? What did he do in his life? Simply put, who is Frozen Fritz? Iceman Awakens by Sharon Krasny explores his story through fiction.
Before the ice claimed him, Gaspare was a young man on the brink of manhood. In his tribe, Gaspare faces four distinct trials in his initiation into manhood. Chealana, the wolf pup he helped to raise, is at his side through all of it. Her presence is like a spirit guide. The gods seem to smile down on Gaspare through these rites of passage, proving his worth and strength. However, it is not enough for men to question why. Some would have him gone.
Creating a story about an unknown man from the past is intriguing. Krasny has built upon what archeologists know about Ötzi and breathed life into this corpse. Iceman Awakens highlights Krasny’s skill as a storyteller. Just as her bio says: “…she has spent years encouraging students to take risks, look closely at the smallest details, and determine hidden meaning found within the text.” So too are readers encouraged to look closely and find meaning.