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Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War

by Kathy Henderson
Illustrated by Jane Ray

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2006
72 pages
ISBN: 9780763627829

Ages 8-14

From ancient Sumeria comes a tale of a young prince who becomes ill while marching with his beloved older brothers into battle and ends up saving his entire kingdom from ruin. Lugalbanda is left on his own after falling ill and his pleas for help are answered by the Sun God Utu and the goddess Inana. He later rejoins the kingís army with the help of a giant Anzu, who grants Lugalbandaís wish for speed and strength after the boy bestowís the great birdís chick with gifts. With the army in peril, Lugalbanda is chosen by the king to carry a message to Inana and returns with the goddessís reply. Her words admonish the ruler for the pride and greed that led him to war, demanding that he undo the destruction and seek knowledge from those he sought to conquer so that his kingdom can share in their wonders rather than steal them. Kathy Hendersonís vividly detailed retelling of this captivating story is graced with exquisite illustrations by Jane Ray. Hendersonís introduction and authorís note provide ample background information as well as discussing some of the choices she made in interpreting what is believed by some scholars to be the oldest written story, set in the region known today as Iraq. Henderson notes that she first heard of the tale just before the 2003 invasion of that country.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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