Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna

Alda P. Dobbs. Sourcebooks, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-72823-465-6
Debut author Dobbs draws inspiration from her family history in this taut historical novel following a courageous 12-year-old girl’s flight from her small Northern Mexican village of Esperanzas to the United States during the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution. On the day Petra Luna’s father is forcibly conscripted into the Federales, the brutal military arm of coup leader and Mexican president Victoriano Huerta, she makes a promise to take care of her family until her father’s return. Now chopping and selling wood to “keep us one step ahead of starvation,” Petra harbors big dreams of going to school and becoming a teacher in a peaceful world. But when the Federales return to the village and plan to burn down Petra’s family home, Petra, her abuelita, and her younger siblings must flee through an inhospitable landscape with nothing but the clothes on their backs to seek shelter and safety across the border. With vivid and poetic imagery (“The smoking star lit the night sky as women wept, holding their babies close”) and artfully balanced narrative tension, Dobbs’s assured writing blazes bright, gripping readers until the novel’s last page. Includes an author’s note and a timeline. Ages 8–12. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 10/14/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-7282-3466-3
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