USBBY Outstanding International Book Pick: Black Flame by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane

Award-winning author Gerelchimeg Blackcrane has written a compelling novel, set in Tibet, Mongolia and China, about the adventures of a fiercely powerful yet lovable Tibetan mastiff that is sure to join the ranks of other much-read classic dog stories.
Kelsang, a Tibetan mastiff, is just a tiny puppy when his mother dies after a vicious fight with a snow leopard. Soon he comes to fill his mother’s role as sheepdog for the master, Tenzin, his instincts telling him how to herd the flock on the northern Tibetan grasslands. But one day when visitors see this huge, beautiful purebred, they ply Tenzin with drink and convince him to sell his dog. In no time Kelsang finds himself chained up in the back of a jeep traveling far from everything he knows.
A series of adventures take Kelsang from the streets of Lhasa, where he fights with local street dogs, to brief refuge with an elderly painter, until he is once again cruelly held in captivity. But Kelsang escapes and meets Han Ma, a master who inspires his love and loyalty. Further adventures include protecting endangered antelope from poachers, warning of a devastating landslide, becoming a guard dog, bonding with a beautiful German shepherd and befriending blind children. But through it all Kelsang longs for the freedom of the grasslands, and so he is overjoyed when his master takes him to live in Inner Mongolia. And here Kelsang once again proves his heroic bravery and intelligence when he saves four children from perishing in a terrible snowstorm.
Gerelchimeg Blackcrane
Translated from the Chinese by Anna Holmwood
2013, Groundwood
ISBN: 9781554981076

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