by & photographed by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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 Mayan, Cakchiquel, Ladino, and Garifuna children star in this new entry in The World's Children series, in which brightly colored garb and warm, wide smiles fill expressive, full-color photographs of the people of Guatemalan villages. From modern-day, open-air street markets to ancient Mayan ruins, this book panoramically depicts the landscapes and lives of everyday people. Hermes (The Children of Micronesia, 1994, etc.) hurries from one culture to another, offering glimpses of individual children and teenagers within their environment, from mountain highland villages to crowded, car-lined cities: Joel drains the blood from a sheep to carry it to market; Victoria, looking a little young for the quotation attributed to her (``The Mayans built the ancient cities, but we [Spanish] built Guatemala's modern cities''), attends an expensive private school for children of Spanish descent, guarded by security police; Maria and Teresa carry their corn to be ground by the molino, so they can make up to 125 tortillas a day. The tragedy of poverty and war is present, but it doesn't overshadow the book's purpose, to present the children as they are, without judgment. The portraits of children are strikingly candid, with vignettes that offer pieces of lives rather one way of life; some readers may be inspired to dig up a more comprehensive social history of the region after reading Hermes's work. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 23rd, 1997
ISBN: 1-57505-994-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1997