For fans of I Am Malala comes this poignant novel based on the true story of one girl's unforgettable journey to self-discovery.
*An ALA Amelia Bloomer Selection*
*An ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book*
Born in an Andean village in Ecuador, Virginia lives with her family in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her Indigenous community, it is not uncommon to work in the fields all day, even as a child, or to be called a longa tonta—stupid Indian—by members of the privileged class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her home to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds.
In this poignant novel based on her own story, the inspiring María Virginia Farinango has collaborated with acclaimed author Laura Resau to recount one girl's unforgettable journey to find her place in the world. It will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately, it will fill you with hope.
This compelling collaboration between Resau (The Ruby Notebook) and Farinango who met while Resau was teaching English at a community college is based on Farinango's tumultuous upbringing in Ecuador as part of an ind gena (indigenous) family, forced to live under the thumb of the mestizos (the Spanish upper class). As is common for ind gena girls her age, Virginia is sent to live with a wealthy mestizo couple in her case, Ni o Carlitos and his wife, Doctorita and she babysits their children and serves as their maid for eight years. While the living conditions are an improvement over her family's small farm, she endures physical and verbal abuse and is denied an education. Narrating in a singular, authentic voice, Virginia dreams of escape, but her broken identity leaves her directionless. Along the way, though, she employs her imagination, persistence, and hard-won wisdom to recover her strength and freedom. The authors' candid narrative richly depicts Virginia's passage from a childhood filled with demoralization to a young woman who sees her life through new eyes. Ages 12 up.