Caminar - YA Review by Grace KL

Reader: Grace KL
Age: 14
Title: Caminar
Author: Skila Brown
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pub Date: 03/25/14
Galley: Yes
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book:  In my opinion, the hardest thing to do when writing is convey a story in very few words.  Skila Brown has done this masterfully in a free verse novel set during the Guatemalan Civil War.  The first three poems convey the setting and and atmosphere there without flat out saying it.  Background information necessary for understanding the war is given slowly, much in the way that Carlos also learns it.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was memorable not because it just told a great story, but the poems all worked on their own as just a poem.  The author did an excellent job of creating a sort of mosaic.  Each of the poems stands well on its own, but together they convey the story of Carlos.
Cover: I am fluent in Spanish, so seeing the title in Spanish was what caused me to pick up the book.  The cover does convey the sense of hiding in an unfamiliar place.
Age Range: Under 12 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 2P Only for special interest
Annotation: Carlos only knows life in the village where he has grown up in Guatemala.  But when the soldiers come and terror takes the village up in its grasp, Carlos' only option is to run.

tags:  coming of age / Guatamala civil war / poetry / ya lit

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