“Beneath Caaqi’s Wings” by Rich Shapero

“Beneath Caaqi’s Wings” by Rich Shapero 175 254 Reader Views Kids

Beneath Caaqi’s Wings

Rich Shapero
TooFar Media (2023)
ISBN: 978-1733525985
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (05/2023)

“Beneath Caaqi’s Wings,” a novel by author Rich Shapero, offers young adult readers a new version of looking at the question of whether a group of teenagers can survive on their own and create a new life when they have lost everything… their families, their homes, and their way of life.

In “Beneath Caaqi’s Wings,” readers are introduced to Jema, a normal teenage girl in the village who is liked by everyone and learning to fall in love. Jema is the Governor’s daughter but spends her summers with her family and a large group of friends in a small haven that is far away from the capital and her father’s work and problems. We also met Kris, who is the daughter of the Chancellor and Jema’s closest friend. They and their families have known each other since they were small children and there is no one that Jema feels closer to.

When all the parents must leave to go back to the capital due to an emergency, the children are left on their own and a catastrophic fire erupts which destroys the village and the few adults that remained. As the group elects a leader in Rangi, a reckless teen who cares more about his own power than his new charges and a break begins to occur in the close relationship between Jema and Kris, this new group must try to figure out how to survive in their new world in the jungle.

Throughout all of the conflicts, danger, and learning, Jema is visited often by a very strange bird, Caaqi. As he whispers in her ear ideas about how she will need to change her beliefs and do things that a woman must do to survive, we get to see Jema change and grow up as she attempts to help herself and the others.

Rich Shapero gives the readers a new vision of the hardships and threats that face a society with no adults for guidance and he does it with amazing imagery in his writing. This story shows that there are always dark urges in each of us that we must carry and learn how to deal with in order to survive and make things safe for those around us.

The characters in this book, from the most prominent to the secondary, are so very well-written. It is easy to feel a part of each of them as we read and to be proud of them or scared for them as they move forward in this new world. In addition, the wonderfully descriptive writing takes each reader to the village, jungle, or even to talk to this amazing bird, as if we are actually a part of the story and in these locations.

“Beneath Caaqi’s Wings” is an extraordinary story and I would recommend it for young adults and grown adults both. It definitely gives the reader a chance to look into themselves and wonder what instincts are in themselves and how they would be able to handle the tragic situation that these characters find themselves in. I enjoyed it immensely and I think that you will as well. I am looking forward to what Mr. Shapero will come up with in his next book.  5 Stars!!

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