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THE GIRL FROM CHIMEL by Rigoberta Menchú


by Rigoberta Menchú, Dante Liano, illustrated by Domi, translated by David Unger

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-88899-666-7
Publisher: Groundwood

The Nobel Peace Prize–winner offers a set of disconnected episodes from an idyllic Guatemalan childhood, occasionally animated by poetic flights of language—“My grandfather walked and walked. What was he looking for? No one knows. He would swallow trails and leave behind the remains of goldfinch songs”—briefly retold folktales and references to Mayan beliefs that are more allusive than descriptive. Domi, best known as the illustrator of Subcommandante Marcos’ Story of Colors (1999), adds full-page, folk-art style scenes in glowing colors, featuring totemic animals and stylized figures with strangely crude features; the effect is as atmospheric as the text. Younger readers may find the tales, and some of the anecdotes, of interest, but adults will respond most strongly to these misty reminiscences—and to the poignant undertone added by Menchú’s hints of ensuing troubled times. (Autobiography. 8-10)