This was one of my favorite books when I was a child. It is a tale of adversity, recovery, cooperation and ultimate triumph. The main character is a boy named Arvi who lives in a village where there are sharp divisions between the farmer and hunter groups. As soon as the grain is collected and stored, the village is attacked and destroyed by a tribe of bandits, who steal all the grain, leaving the villagers scattered and without food for the winter. Under orders from the wise man of the village, Arvi takes a small amount of grain and hides it away so that it can serve as the seed for future crops. The divisions continue after the destruction of the village, but a small band builds a tiny dwelling on a lake, where the water serves as a protective barrier. Others from their former village see how cooperation leads to greater yields and begin joining the settlement on the lake, which continues to grow as they all work together. In the end, the two village factions unite to utterly defeat their enemies. Although this is an adventure story set in a primitive society, it is also an excellent social commentary on how divisions in society lead to weakness and how enlightened leadership and cooperation can create more for all. My children will read it and then afterward, we will discuss the timeless messages about the structure of societies.