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Libertad

Overview

"Governor General's Literary Award nominee 2008
- Children's Literature, Text category

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award Winner, 2009

Golden Oak Award winner, 2009

Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards 2009 finalist

On Resource Link's "Best of 2008" List

CLA ...

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Overview

"Governor General's Literary Award nominee 2008
- Children's Literature, Text category

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award Winner, 2009

Golden Oak Award winner, 2009

Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards 2009 finalist

On Resource Link's "Best of 2008" List

CLA Children's Book of the Year Award Honour Book, 2009

Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards shortlist, 2010

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009AStarred Choice"

With their father gone to America to make money for his family, Libertad, his little brother Julio and their mother scrape a living out of a dump in Guatemala City. Although it is too late for him, Libertad is determined that his little brother should go to school. Taught to play the marimba by his father, Libertad uses his talent as a street musician to raise enough money for his brother's school supplies. But his dreams for their future are destroyed when their mother is killed in a freak accident. Libertad must face the inevitable truth; they cannot survive on the streets of Guatemala City alone. There is only one thing to do. They must set out on the long and lonely journey to the Rio Grande River, where they plan to cross the water and enter the United States to find their father.

A moving story about determination and hope, "Libertad" is a stunning free verse novel by the author of "In the Garage" and "Walking on Glass."

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Ellen Welty
Libertad and his little brother Julio live on the outskirts of Guatemala City near the city dump. With their mother, they make a living by salvaging trash from the dump and selling it. Their father has gone to America to make a new life for them and his promise to return for them someday keeps Libertad going on the hardest days when selling cardboard and plastic don't bring enough money for food for the three of them. Libertad wants more than anything to give his brother the chance at an education and he sacrifices that chance for himself in order to give it to Julio. When a freak accident kills their mother at the dump, Libertad realizes that he will no longer be able to provide for Julio and himself and the brothers do the only thing that they can, set out to find their father. They face cruelty from both humans and nature along the way and their story is a testament to perseverance. The word ‘libertad' means freedom in Spanish, and this brief novel in verse form is a powerful testament to the hope of Libertad. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10

In a series of free-verse poems, Libertad describes the events leading up to his mother's accidental death in the Guatemalan dump where the family picks garbage and his subsequent journey north with his little brother, Julio, and a dog to find his father in the United States. Desperate and determined, the boys depend on their wits, the kindness of people they meet on their way, and a bit of good fortune. They play a marimba picked from the trash, work in fields and a tortilla factory, and even beg on the streets of Mexico City. Basing her story on the experiences of actual migrant children, Fullerton conveys their struggle in simple but carefully chosen words and images. The suspense is real and though readers may question some of the choices Libertad makes along the way, they will celebrate his perseverance and ultimate success. With realistic detail and well-paced suspense, this survival story is a good choice for reluctant readers.-Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD

Kirkus Reviews

Libertad picks trash for a living with his younger brother and their mother in Guatemala City. When she dies in a horrible accident, they head for Texas, clutching an address where they hope to find their father and taking along a marimba. Their talent with it brings them luck along the otherwise treacherous trip. Written in unexceptional free verse poems, the story lacks any narrative tension that such a plot would suggest, and the flatness of the language puts a formal distance between the readers and the characters. Although the book is in English, readers are to assume the characters speak and think in Spanish; yet Libertad has the disconcerting habit of occasionally translating his dialogue into Spanish ("Texas, Julio. / We're in Texas. / We are free! / Somos libres"). And his untempered belief that their arrival in Texas solves everything ("FREE / from the garbage / FOREVER") will strike even young readers as a little naïve. (author's note) (Fiction. 10-13)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554551064
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/13/2008
  • Pages: 215
  • Sales rank: 1,434,085
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.73 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Alma Fullerton was born in Ottawa and grew up in a large military family. She's lived all over Canada and in Europe and now resides in Ontario with her husband and two daughters.

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