Justin F. Denzel
Boy of the Painted Cave
from the dustjacket:

Tao heard sounds behind him, sounds of breaking reeds and sloshing water, sounds of heavy bodies splashing through the swamp. He was no longer downwind. He was no longer safe. The mountains-that-walk were all around him.

All the fourteen-year-old boy Tao wants is to be left alone to paint and draw images of bears, deer, and woolly mammoths — the mountains-that-walk. Yet, Tao is not a Chosen One, and the clan leader, the fiery and superstitious Volt, disapproves of him and eventually forces Tao out into the wilderness alone.

There, though befriended by a wolf dog and the gentle shaman Graybeard, Tao's very survival is threatened as the clan pursues him, finally confronting him in the Secret Cavern. They determine his guilt by pitting him against the sacred bull Saxon.

In this unusual and captivating story, Justin Denzel breathes life and adventure into a world that existed 18,000 years ago, assuring the reader that compassion, friendship, and artistry transcend even time.