Treasure of the World

Tara Sullivan. Putnam, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-51696-5
In this gripping novel set in a Bolivian mining village in the Andes, Sullivan (The Bitter Side of Sweet) effectively portrays 12-year-old narrator Ana and the oppressive demands she faces. Ana and her sarcastic, sickly brother Daniel, 11, dream of education and opportunity beyond their desolate mountain of Cerro Rico. But their abusive father insists Daniel leave school to work in the mine alongside him, and tensions mount when Daniel falls ill and Ana goes to work in his stead. Angering Mami and Abuelita, Ana also incurs the wrath and suspicion of her fellow miners, who believe a female working in the mine will bring bad luck. When a section of the mine caves in, killing Ana’s father while Daniel remains missing, the miners’ superstitions seem proven. Sullivan sketches the stifling setting of the mine and town, skillfully crafting memorable characters and close relationships, especially between Ana and Daniel and Ana’s best friend, Victor. The narrative, which occasionally leans too much on historical exposition, presents a largely negative view of Bolivia. But Sullivan approaches tough topics, including child labor, economic pressure, and repressive gender roles, from a resonant, believably young perspective, balancing Ana’s precarious struggle to survive with hope. Ages 10–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 02/04/2021
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-51697-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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