Frank, inspiring, and painful, this true story of Marìa Virginia Farinango's journey from servitude and internalized shame to freedom and self-discovery will give you chills. Addressing themes of poverty, prejudice, literacy, cultural identity, parent/child relationships, and coming of age, this beautifully written novel is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming, and will keep readers captivated.— Kim
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 large family in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her village of indígenas, 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 ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her village to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds.
In this poignant novel based on a true story, acclaimed author Laura Resau has collaborated with María Virginia Farinango to recount one girl's unforgettable journey to self-discovery. Virginia's story will speak to anyone who has ever struggled to find his or her place in the world. It will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately, it will fill you with hope.
About the Author
Laura Resau lived in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, for two years as an English teacher and anthropologist. She now lives with her husband, her dog, and her son Bran in Colorado, where she teaches cultural anthropology and ESL (English as a Second Language). She is also the author of What the Moon Saw and Red Glass.
María Virginia Farinango has acted in a television movie, had her own radio show, performed traditional dance, run an Andean craft business, and traveled throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. She is studying psychology and has recently started a small holistic day spa in Otavalo, Ecuador, where she lives with her husband and their young son. For more about María Virginia, please visit lauraresau.com/virginia.
Starred Review, Booklist, February 15, 2011:
"A moving, lyrical novel that will particularly resonate with teens caught between cultures."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, May 9, 2011:
"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."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, June 2011:
"This is a poignant coming-of-age novel that will expose readers to the exploitation of girls around the world whose families grow up in poverty."