An American Library Association Notable Books List selection
Nobel Peace Prize winner and noted Maya activist Rigoberta Menchu Tum brings the world of her childhood vividly alive in The Girl from Chimel.
Before the thirty-six year war in Guatemala, despite the hardships the Maya people had endured since the time of the Conquest, life in their highland villages had a beauty and integrity that were changed forever by the conflict and brutal genocide that were to come. Menchu's stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her as a young girl, and her retelling of the stories that she was told present a rich, humorous and engaging picture of that lost world.
Marvelous illustrations by Domi draw on the Maya landscape and the rich visual vocabulary that can be found in the weavings and crafts for which the Maya are world-renowned.
Rigoberta Menchú Tum won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. She lives in Guatemala and devotes herself to fighting for the rights of Maya Guatemalans and other Indigenous people in the Americas as head of the Fundacion Rigoberta Menchu Tum. She has received numerous international awards and honorary degrees and has also written Crossing Borders: An Autobiography, and I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala. Her other books for young people, co-written with Dante Liano, include The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, both companion books to The Secret Legacy.
David Unger is an award-winning translator and author born in Guatemala. His work has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Chinese. He received Guatemala’s 2014 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement, though he writes exclusively in English and lives in the US. His many translations include The Girl from Chimel, The Honey Jar and Popul Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya.
Dante Liano is an eminent Guatemalan writer and National Literature Award laureate. He currently lives in Milan, where he teaches Latin American literature. He is the author of The Man from Montserrat and The San Andres Mystery, and co-author of The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar.
Domi is a well-known Mazateca artist, whose vivid illustrations appear in many children’s books, including The Story of Colors by Zapatista leader Subcomandante Marcos, The Night the Moon Fell (La noche que se cayó la luna) and The Race of Toad and Deer (La carrera del sapo y el venado), both by Pat Mora. She has also illustrated The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, by Rigoberta Menchú and Dante Liano. She lives in Tlaquepaque, Mexico.
[Menchu's] writing evokes a world of wild, friendly magic in which every living creature has its own spirit double. - Horn Book
...a vivid memoir of [Menchu's] girlhood in the then unspoiled village of Chimel...the book memorializes an idyllic interdependency between the human and the natural... - Canadian Literature
...the text throughout is captivating and provides a rare glimpse at indigenous Guatemalan and Mayan culture. - Bulletin
Created with strong, primitive forms and vibrant colors, full-page oil paintings brighten half the double-page spreads and provide memorable scenes of Chimel through three generations. - Booklist
Domi...adds full-page, folk-art style scenes in glowing colors...the effect is as atmospheric as the text. - Kirkus Reviews
Domi's colorful flat oil paintings, with traditional Mayan symbols and motifs, perfectly complement this collection. - Book Links
This slim book would be a welcome addition to a school or public library. - Resource Links
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