Grab Hands and Run

Frances Temple, Author Orchard Books (NY) $15.95 (165p) ISBN 978-0-531-05480-2
Temple addresses the plight of Salvadoran refugees in this follow-up to Taste of Salt , her powerful portrayal of strife in contemporary Haiti. Twelve-year-old Felipe and his sister Romy, eight, have never grown accustomed to the intricacies of their life in El Salvador. Children must not play in certain areas or ever go out alone, as their city is in the grip of a civil war that is to blame for murders, disappearances and the drafting of boys into the army. They live with constant worry, compounded by their father Jacinto's secretive involvement in a resistance movement. When Jacinto turns up missing, Felipe, Romy and their mother, Paloma, follow the patriarch's oft-spoke instructions to ``grab hands and run'' all the way to freedom in Canada. The arduous and uncertain journey that follows forms the bulk of the novel. Temple's characters are wholly credible, expressing common human emotions while retaining a specific cultural identity. Details of the brutal realities in El Salvador are dexterously woven into the story of one family's struggle to beat the odds. Though Felipe's first-person narrative slows in places as the characters grow travel-weary, a sustained level of suspense spurs readers on. Temple's novel may well lead the curious to research the country and politics that inspired her fictional account. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1993
Release date: 04/01/1993
Prebound-Other - 165 pages - 978-0-606-07590-9
Prebound-Other - 978-0-7857-6147-1
Library Binding - 165 pages - 978-0-531-08630-8
Paperback - 165 pages - 978-0-06-440548-5
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