Thursday, July 6, 2017

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder - ESSENTIAL

Crowder, Melanie An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, 286 pages.  Philomel (Penguin), 2017.  Language: PG (14 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (possibility of rape avoided); Violence: PG-13 (beatings, fights).

Francisco, 17,  and his family lead a poor, but loving life in a poor part of a Bolivian city.  They’ve worked hard to keep their noses clean, but under a tough new law passed to appease the Americans desire to catch drug lords and runners, Francisco’s father is arrested, his cab is impounded, and he is sent to prison.  When their mother takes off, Francisco and Pilar, his little sister, 8, are forced to move into the prison too.  Ife in the prison is dangerous for everyone, but Pilar especially.  Francisco only has six weeks before he graduates from school, but there may be no way for him to hold his family and his soul together long enough to have any choices left.

Are you ready for heart-wrenching? What a stunning look at life in South America in 1999.  It doesn’t feel like historic fiction; it just feels like raw, honest humanity trying to survive in desperate situations.  An excellent choice for a classroom read in Language Arts or Geography.  Show this to your deepest thinkers.  I know it won’t fly off the shelf like Hunger Games, but a little handselling will help this find a wider audience.

MS, HS – ESSENTIAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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