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COLIBRÍ by Ann Cameron Kirkus Star


by Ann Cameron

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-31519-1
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Twelve-year-old Tzunún barely remembers her life before Uncle, but what she does remember features a loving mother and father. Uncle is far from loving, traipsing her over the Guatemalan countryside and forcing her to assist him in fraudulent and humiliating begging schemes. Life with Uncle is barely a life, but he’s the only security she has. His conviction that Tzunún will bring him fortune leads him first to consult a fortune-teller for confirmation and then to force Tzunún to assist in a church robbery. These two encounters force Tzunún to examine herself and finally to reject submission, as she first thwarts the robbery and then flees to live with Doña Celestina, the fortune-teller—until the destiny that she shares with Uncle exerts itself. Tzunún is an entirely sympathetic narrator, her heartbreakingly ingenuous voice at turns describing modern-day rural Guatemala, and plumbing her own moral depths with complete believability. Readers will ache with her longing for love and her need to claim her own individual humanity. Painful, beautiful, and ultimately triumphant. (Fiction. 10-14)