What strange creatures might these be... that guard cacao history?
Max Hammond has a life other science-obsessed boys his age only dream of: he travels the world with his bee researcher dad and science writer mom.
When the Hammond family arrives in Guatemala to study the enigmatic stingless bees of the Maya, Max meets Itzel, a young Maya girl who introduces him to the magic and wonders of rainforest gardens and animal spirit guides. It’s a world that transforms the meaning of all the science Max has ever learned—but its magic is not always benevolent.
One night, Itzel takes Max to an ancient cacao tree tended in secret deep in the jungle by an elite group of Elders. Neither Max nor Itzel are prepared for the forces they unleash when they open the pods of the sacred tree, forces that turn everything they know about the history of cacao upside down, threaten the past and future of the world’s most desirable food, and, worse still, awaken two mythic beasts guarding the very DNA of cacao.
The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree is Book One of the "Max and the Code of Harvests" series.
Features: Includes 32 chapter illustrations and an appreciation by Dr. Allen Young, curator emeritus at the Milwaukee Public Museum and author of "The Chocolate Tree."
Language: English, with brief Spanish and Itzà Maya dialogue (all with English translations).
About the Author
She is the author of numerous literary works and articles, and has spoken on topics ranging from media to sustainability on three continents. Her books and mobile apps have been recognized by design and publishing awards and honors from organizations such as the International Academy of Visual Arts in Los Angeles, Press 53, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Her adult literature compared by readers to Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, and James Joyce, Birgitte now breaks new ground with "The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree," her first book for younger readers.
A former journalist and screenwriter for the Hollywood film industry, Birgitte serves as the Chief Evolution Officer (CEO) of LUCITÀ, an interactive design and publishing firm based in Silicon Valley. She holds a BA in Film Aesthetics from Stanford University, studied cinematography at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and completed a professional Masters degree in international relations in Spanish at the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain. A member of various literary and professional organizations including the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), and the California Health Medical Reserve Corps (CH-MRC), among others, she sits on the Board of Directors of the American Fund for Czech and Slovak Leadership Studies in New York City that supports young leaders in healthcare, education, and the environment.
Table of ContentsAppreciation xiii
Bees, Planes, and Dark Green Socks • 1
First Landing • 5
Hit the Ground Buzzing • 12
Breakfast at K'aax Itzà • 22
Bread and Chocolate • 30
What Lurks in the Cacao Grove • 39
At the End of the Honey Trail • 48
Bee Logs and Family Bonds • 56
When a Tree Falls • 66
Cacao Fit for a King • 74
Itzel's Secret • 87
Seeds Planted Early Grow Fast • 96
Meeting Luna • 106
The Story of Lord Cacao and 13 Jaguar • 115
What Walks Below Flies Above • 127
Eyes that Pierce the Night • 136
Riddles and Sacred Mysteries • 143
Dawn of Cacao in Mesoamerica • 154
When the Dust Unsettles • 167
Rain of Gold Rain of Purple • 174
Night Flight • 184
Dance of a Thousand Wings • 191
The Disappearing Lines • 200
Poison Pollen • 211
Breath of a Serpent • 217
Sun Below the Ceiba Tree • 226
The Gathering Winds • 239
Initiation • 250
Moon Over the Cacao Tree • 261
A Thousand Years of Memory • 273
The Return of the Serpent • 281
Twin Horizons • 295
About the Author
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