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Saturday, July 9, 2011

4 - VALLEY OF STEEL: A Memoir BY IVAN KING, Book of the Month, by Toni McKain,book Reviewer


  *   A memoir is a remembrance and or memory of a part of a person's life or his whole life (autobiography). The writer is called a memoirist. A memoir focuses on the development of his or her personality.

I had friends like Ivan, Pinocchio and Nene from the projects..
1. Pearhead was a rugged little guy, always scheming and getting in trouble and finding a way to get out. Busy little boys.
2. Gail Pope was exotic. She loved to wrap snakes around her skinny neck like they were a necklace. 3 Katherine Anderson was a tomboy in a tattered dress. by the time she got home from school everyday, and so was I.  
Toni McKain

      VALLEY OF STEEL  is a bicycle ride through the "Favela"  slums of Rio De Janeiro,
Brazil, with  breathtaking, descriptive scenery of the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. Something
urban/city kids growing up in the projects and slums of the world need to see and read about.
In fact, the average urban child has no idea what lurks in the greenery of giant trees, secret
 caves, moss covered lava rock masses, and mountains that rush into springs, streams, and
waterfalls. There is even quicksand  that our boy wanderer, Ivan, and his friend's: Nene,
Pinocchio, Baianos, and others experience. I was amazed by the patience of his mama  Moema
 and with her humor. And like most father- son relationships their were misunderstandings and longings.
 In the rain forest, odd looking insects and bright red poisonous frogs, hanging off  rope-veined trees await you.Strange looking creatures and critters that we can't even imagine live there, but Ivan can show us,  because he traveled back there just so he could write about it years later.  He never forgot what it looked like or how it was - the foothills of the valley mountains, and how exhilarating it felt to walk in the moisture and coolness of shade trees," kicking up dust". He remembers how his friend dived off a rocked cliff  - head first - and landed in quicksand. He can tell you if he was able to pull him out, or if  he got sucked under. Ivan even  remembers the time he was warned to stay out of his dad's tool shed, but didn't, and cut off one of his digits. (look it up). How he woke up two days later and where it landed him  Alas, all the ingredients of a boy and girls adventure.
 The Favela represents both poverty and beauty in Ivan's young life - with excitingly new and  frighteningly horrifying encounters, because all was not safe in his world.. Hunted, sometimes, unfriendly men also prowled through those roped trees and hidden caves in Riacho-
  Brazil just like they prowl on city streets of your neighborhoods..
      We all know that all animals are not friendly towards us- human primates as well as four legged creatures. So take the bicycle ride with Ivan into the VALLEY OF STEEL and escape into the backdrop of an amazing rain forest full of new and strange worlds.
    The story is set in the 1980's at the height of the industial age, and their is great change coming
 that will affect us all. Get your ebook copy and take a trip back in time to the "Favela"  surrounded by the Riachos (rain forest's)  into a wonderful land called  VALLEY OF STEEL
KidSmart Books Read It and Recommends It

Other Reviews from Goodreads:
*Fate can be Unkind. Would you dare to go back and risk her wrath?
publisher review:
*In this gritty, yet often times humourous life, Ivan King reveals what life was like growing
 up in a Brazilian slum...     Sharon Shultz
Genre Memoir, child lit. Book rating:***** 5 stars.
authorcentral ebook at and ebook/dp/B0052MGGBS/ref+pd_rhf_P_t_1
Hardcover ISBN 981461128411O

Antoinette Mckain
Pictures posted from
KidSmart Books, is a subsidiary of the KidSmartFdn. Registered (TM) KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by T.McK.(P)2002-2011 Copyright(s) 2002-2011, GACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved. In accordance with the FTC, 16CFR, part 255, all books are downloadable in PDFformat for the express purpose of book reviewing .


  1. Hey, I came across your site from the crazy for books blog hop. This is a lovely review. I'm all for childrens books which also give them a subtle education about an aspect of nature or animal life.
    It's a lovely, long, review. Maybe you'd like to try writing a reeeeally short review, maybe you or your readers would like to have a go at my 'review-on-a-post-it' competition...

  2. Actually the review isn't that long The columm I have to write on is. I'm always considering ADD, but I think it's highly exaggerated. Children absorb hours of games and tv without experiencing brain fatigue everyday. Though i must admit I think children are fatigued from junk.
    thanks Jd found a clever way to draw attention to your site.

    Toni McKain