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Colibrí

for ages 10 to 14

Book cover ColibriMoss and bright grasses glistened around the spring. The earth smelled as if it was singing. I scooped up water in my hands and drank.
We ate our last pieces of dry bread. I shook the crumbs out of my shawl, folded it into a square, and put it on my head to shade my eyes.
“Let’s go, Rosa,” Uncle said.
He always called me Rosa. My real name, Tzunún, was a secret I had almost forgotten
.  --from Colibrí

At age four, the Mayan girl nicknamed Colibrí--"Hummingbird"--is kidnapped from a crowded bus and a Guatemalan ex-soldier and wandering beggar becomes her rescuer. He renames the girl Rosa and tells her to call him Uncle and says that perhaps her parents abandoned her on purpose; maybe they didn't have the means to take care of her.

Uncle consults fortune tellers; they predict that Rosa will lead him to a treasure big enough to last him all his life. He keeps the girl and in his way, takes care of her.

Rosa has turned twelve or maybe even thirteen, but no treasure has been found. Uncle is angry and desperate, nearly ready to give up both the girl and his hopes. He takes her to one last fortune teller, Celestina Tuc, an old Mayan lady who divines the future using the ancient Mayan calendar.

Uncle doesn't realize it, but Celestina is no ordinary fortune teller: she's a woman who not only reads the future, she creates it. With prayers and predictons, but more important, loyalty and love, Celestina creates a new future for Rosa.

Also available as a Random House audio book; and in Spanish by Scholastic, Inc.

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