Candlewick Press

June 2014

$24.95 AU

200p hc

ISBN: 978-0763665166

Caminar

Skila Brown

from Walker Books Australia...

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mam tells him not yet-he's still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbour is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mam tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerrillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos's abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to add your review or comments below please send to YARR-A


Told in verse novel format using a range of styles and forms this debut novel from Skila Brown is set in Guatemala in 1981 during a time of conflict. The story centres on a young boy, not yet a man, Carlos, who lives in the fictional small village of Chopan. The village is ‘visited’ by government soldiers and later by a band of guerrillas (rebels). When the village is attacked Carlos is on an errand and escapes by hiding up a tree. The novel follows Carlos on his journey of survival and growing into a man. The story brings to the fore the confusion of war, the people caught in a conflict they don’t want or understand and the senseless loss of life inherent in such conflict.

This is a coming-of-age novel written in a variety of verse styles, some more easy to follow than others. The inclusion of a Q and A with the author at the end and Spanish glossary was a great inclusion and added to the overall message and understanding of the story. This is an interesting read for those who may want to find out about conflict in another country.

Pete, Canberra

Back to verse novels list