Book Review: Colibrí

Colibri-Ann-CameronWe had such a great time discussing this book at our book group on Monday night! Our monthly meetings are definitely one of my favorite parts of my job.  I’ve shared my thoughts on the book below.  We’d love to hear what you think as well–just leave a comment at the end of the post.

Written by Ann Cameron
Published by Laurel Leaf,  2005
ISBN:   9780440420521
Age Level: 12 and up

Description (From GoodReads):

She was little and quick and pretty. Her mother nicknamed her Colibrí, Spanish for “Hummingbird.” At age four she was kidnapped, torn from her parents on a crowded bus in Guatemala City. Since then she’s traveled with “Uncle,” the ex-soldier and wandering beggar who has renamed her Rosa. Uncle has always told Rosa that he searched for her parents but had no success. There’s almost no chance Rosa will ever find them, but Rosa still remembers and longs for them.

When she was young, Uncle consulted fortune-tellers who told him that Rosa would bring him luck – a treasure big enough to last him all his life. So he’s kept her with him. Together, they have traveled from town to town in the highlands of Guatemala, scraping out a living, hoping to find the treasure. Eight years have passed, and Rosa has turned twelve. No treasure has been found, and Uncle has almost given up hope. When he turns angry and desperate, danger threatens Rosa from all side, but especially from Uncle himself.

My thoughts:

With nothing but positive reviews, it’s not surprising that Colibrí was a great read.  It’s a well-written and engrossing novel.   Told from the point of view of Tzunún, a 12 year-old girl, students will find it easy to connect with the young narrator.  It’s not a light read; instead, it offers a coming of age story that shows a young girl forced to make decisions that we would hope only adults might have to confront.  Yet this is part of the power of the book.  Often our students do have to deal with situations that we wish we could protect them from, but can’t.  Tzunún’s journey to find out who she really is may give those students some much needed hope, and a story they can learn from and identify with.  Continue reading


Our Next Good Read. . .Colibrí

Join us January 13th at Bookworks from 5:00-7:00 pm to discuss our next book.  We are Colibri 2reading Colibrí (Ages 12 and up) by Ann Cameron.

Here’s a sneak peek into the book: (from Goodreads)

When Tzunún was little, her mother nicknamed her Colibrí, Spanish for “hummingbird.” At age four, Colibrí is kidnapped from her parents in Guatemala City and ever since she’s traveled with Uncle, the ex-soldier and wandering beggar, who renamed her Rosa. Uncle told Rosa that he looked for her parents, but never found them.  Continue reading

Book Giveaway!! Colibrí

Colibri 1We’re giving away a copy of Colibrí (Ages 12 and up) written by Ann Cameron–our featured novel for January’s book group meeting!! Check out the following from School Library Journal:

Contemporary Guatemala is the setting for this story of 12-year-old Tzunun Chumil (Mayan for “Hummingbird Star”), called Rosa Garcia by the man who supposedly rescued her from abandonment at age four. Rosa and “Uncle” Baltasar travel from place to place, begging for their livelihood as he pretends to be blind. But, despite her dependence on and devotion to him, Rosa is distressed by the dishonesty of their lifestyle and has memories of loving parents. Told by a seer, the Day-Keeper Do-a Celestina, that the child will bring him a treasure, Baltasar takes Rosa to the town of San Sebastian where he and a friend develop a plan to steal a valuable statue from the town’s church. The plot backfires when Rosa’s conscience forces her to seek out the priest and reveal their intentions, and the two men are jailed. Rosa runs back to the kindly Day-Keeper, who takes her in and gives her the courage to make a new life for herself. When Uncle escapes, Rosa must confront him and, in a dramatic scene in which he plunges off a cliff, she learns that she was kidnapped. With the help of the Day-Keeper and a scrap of paper found in his wallet, Tzunun is reunited with her parents. Cameron layers her compelling story with vivid descriptions of setting and weaves into the narrative the complexities inherent in the blending of Mayan and ladino cultures and religious practices. This is reflected in the book’s title, which is the Spanish translation of Tzunun’s name. A well-written and engrossing read.–Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

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