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Children's LiteratureHere is the struggle for western lands with the first person perspective of a young mestiza girl-a girl of both Spanish and Indian heritage. Bonita struggles with issues of race and class in 1846 Corpus Christi. She lives deep in a territory the U.S. wants to annex. At home, Bonita's grandmother sees visions of spilled blood in her "seeing bowl" and her father speaks of defending the lands with all their might. In town, she visits her best friend Carmen who is a U.S. citizen of pure Spanish heritage. Carmen's arrogant cousin, Rafael, claims the U.S. will win the war. He claims it is "Manifest Destiny," and "America's divinely appointed mission to lead the world to a higher, more perfect civilization." When the fighting begins, the girls' common language can not overcome their differences, but in the end their friendship prevails. The book concludes with several activities for creative writing and history. There is also an historical overview to reinforce facts presented in the text. One of the "Scrapbooks of America" series, the photos and illustrations create a beautiful collage of Bonita's war time memories. 2004, Tradition Books, Ages 9 to 12.
— Tina Dybvik