Kokopelli's Flute

Kokopelli's Flute

by Will Hobbs

Tep Jones has always felt the magic of Picture House, an Anasazi cliff dwelling near the seed farm where he lives with his parents.

Tep falls under the spell of a powerful ancient magic that traps him at night in the body of an animal.

Only by unraveling the mysteries of Picture House can Tep save himself and his desperately ill mother.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.65
  • Pages: 160
  • Publish Date: July 1st 2005 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Isbn10: 1416902503
  • Isbn13: 9781416902508

What People Think about "Kokopelli's Flute"

I like that there were bits of Pueblo culture shared through Tepary's imagination. His mom said there's little to fear outside but yourself, and that if you use caution and good judgment you'll be okay. The ringtail was trying to kill him and they ran around the room, but the next morning he didn't know what happened and thought it was all a dream. It was weird that the author didn't acknowledge that but talked of him like he carried plant seeds around. He actually gave the bone flute back which I didn't expect him to do, and I wondered how things would keep happening when he returned it to its owner. He chewed up his parents' seeds, gathered all these little odds and ends and carried them back to his room, and crapped on the table. But now that he had made a mess in the house and his mom had seen him going up the stairs, and his dad wanted to set Ringo loose and put up traps, he claimed it was too hot in his room. How convenient that it's the time of the year when he can go outside so his parents won't see him as a rat. His mom studies the rat homes so she can learn what happened to the Pueblo people. The packrats will show in their homes what they were eating at the time, and so share what was available to the people and if anything changed with their environment. When he spotted the robbers they had a pot and Dusty whined and got excited just seeing it, which was weird at the time. I was like you expect me to believe this dog knows the significance of a pot? But the college students working at his dad's seed farm saw Dusty digging something and they found it to be a pot. They didn't believe that Dusty could sense pots and wanted to hear it from his dad. As soon as I found out he turns into a rat, I didn't like the story. Obviously I knew something bad was going to happen to him because of the summary and the foreshadowing from encountering the flute. I wish the summary had mentioned that he transforms into a rat because I wouldn't have wanted to read it. Everything that happened during the day, the rat remembered at night and set about destroying. I was so sick of that stupid rat always eating and scavenging for things to take. The first night back at home, Tep had hidden the tin which held his dad's first Tepary seeds and the ancient corn seeds he'd found in the tunnel. The stupid rat started eating the seeds but then he got control over it and stopped. His dad came out and I was worried he'd do something because the rat was getting into things and he wanted it to die, even though his wife is a champion of theirs and Tep came up with all these reasons why packrats might benefit more than harm. His dad turned the barrel over and told him "Good luck, little fellow. You've got a lot of courage." It was a nice moment for his dad to come around and see rats differently after he was so upset and determined to kill it. When Tep remembered a conversation he had with his mom about magic, if she believed in it or not, and she said there's a lot they don't know I was like come on. Are you really going to have his mom believe that people can change into rats? It was a little much when a hunchback came to their farm, because that's like the Kokopelli's figure. Tepary and his parents had never seen Ringo in the daytime, but at dinner he dropped down on Cricket's shoulder, when no one else but his family had ever even seen him. He spoke to a raven and told him to leave the farm alone and he would play a trick on Coyote just like in the Distant Time. One night as a rat he heard the same flute music that he's been hearing that no one else could hear. Cricket told him that the Milky Way is from white Tepary beans that Coyote spilled. Cricket said it's because of people like him and his parents that he stays. He had come because he heard someone playing the flute music--Tepary the first time at Picture House--and he wanted to know who it was. He was close to leaving like one of the Kokopelli's already had, because he thought he wasn't needed anymore, until he heard that. He said it wasn't the medicine man's flute, but one of the Kokopelli's. Cricket said the flute came from the earliest days when people changed into animals all the time. Cricket had planted a special kind of gourd when he got there and he came up with the plan to have Tepary challenge Coyote to an eating contest. Tepary ate the sweet gourd that Cricket promised him, and Coyote was unable to finish the sour gourd he had, so just like that he left them alone. They tied Dusty up to the tree and I was thinking why doesn't he chew the rope? Cricket had the idea to get the herbs out of the medicine man's bundle, the ancient herbs the people used to use for this sickness, which no longer exists. It was an emotional moment because his dad was afraid and told him to run like a deer to Picture House. I wanted the whole ordeal to be over with, but on the way Tep turned into the rat and I was soo aggravated! Good ol Dusty found the pot with the medicine man's bundle, but the pouches had been stolen by packrats. I didn't know what to expect from the flute notes he was supposed to learn, but having him think the spirals looked like an owl's eyes and then just put together that he was supposed to mimic the call of the owl on the flute was disappointing and too easy. By the end he missed his rat adventures, riding on Dusty and all, but he didn't want it back because it was too dangerous. His dad noticed how weird it was that the ravens flew over but didn't try to eat anything, and that the coyotes never ate anything either.

In all, I think this is a book for the youngest of the YAs, and it would probably be good for 6th graders.

I definitely recommended this book to people who enjoy a good adventure.

I'm just not interested in it and apparently the rest of the family found it boring as well.

The way the idea of magic being in a cliff might seem strange, but it helps the main character with his family's seed farm.

ALA also named Far North and Downriver to their list of the 100 Best Young Adult Books of the Twentieth Centrury.