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Journey of Dreams

by Marge Pellegrino

Published by Frances Lincoln, 2009
250 pages
ISBN: 978-1-84780-061-9

Ages 10 - 13

Thirteen-year-old Tomasa’s K’iche’ Indian family live in the highlands of Guatemala, where the government campaign against indigenous peoples is intensifying—and terrifying. After Tomasa’s older brother narrowly escapes conscription, he and her mother—who has publicly criticized the government and growers for toxic spraying in nearby fields—must disappear for their own safety. Shortly after, the village is firebombed. It happens on the very morning Tomasa, her little brother and baby sister, and her father have bid a painful farewell to her grandmother so they, too, can escape. That head start saves their lives in a tense story that follows the journey of Tomasa’s family out of the mountains and north to Mexico. Set in 1984, Marge Pellegrino’s novel gives a sense of those harrowing times in a story grounded in Tomasa’s perspective—full of fear for their lives, longing for her mother and brother, and relief when she and her family find refuge with the Sanctuary Movement. Vivid details, such as clean clothes and the chance to play—pleasures that are lost and tentatively reclaimed—bring this story of refugees running for their lives into full relief. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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