The author of The Stories Julian Tells, notably perceptive stories about kids in neighborhood America, brings the same concern to a small Guatemalan. At seven, Juan is able to contribute so much money (a dollar a day) to his grandmother--burdened by an extended family in her house--that he assumes she depends on him too much to send him to school; many Guatemalan children must work instead of attending school; and since Juan has been abandoned by both his parents, he is not quite sure of his busy grandmother's affection. Yearning for education, he teaches himself to read from an old newspaper, finally summoning the courage to ask his grandmother about school--and it turns out that she too values education, but she had lost track of his age, thinking him only five. Best, her love for Juan is now clear. In her absorbing narrative, careful use of authentic, concrete detail intrinsic to the story as well as illustrative of the culture portrayed, and sympathetic understanding of a child's world--all in a story that will be enjoyed by younger children--Cameron's books are comparable to Clyde Bulla's. Allen's pencil sketches give a good sense of place and contribute to the book's handsome format. Excellent for young readers or as a read-aloud for prereaders.