Andrea, a young Indigenous Colombian woman, has returned to the land she calls home. She comes to mourn her child-and to capture evidence of the illegal mining that displaced her family. In graphic novel format.
School Library Journal (04/00/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2022 Gr 7 Up—The displacement of Indigenous peoples across the world, in the name of capitalistic progress, is a horrific, well-documented reality. It's the source of compelling stories of suffering, resistance, and occasional victory in the face of a massive opponent. This is a bold imagining of one such tale.Hard-eyed heroine Andrea, 19, has been displaced from her village in the Colombian rain forest and resides in a miniscule apartment with 37 others. Her husband was killed amid the violence of their removal, and her baby died from their inescapably squalid urban living conditions. Her quest for retribution is fueled by fury borne of this pain—she must return her baby's body to their native land and bring back evidence of the injustice that has destroyed her world. Canizales's shadow-filled, jungle-focused, black-and-white art captures the pain of displacement from one's physical and spiritual world; flashbacks to the horrors of Andrea's past, set against black backgrounds, are especially effective. Andrea's plan to deceive the site guards and document her home's destruction feels less grounded in reality—the moral simplicity of the suggestion that retribution is possible once she uncovers their wrongdoing feels too easy in an otherwise complex story. Scenes of violence, death, and attempted assault may disturb some readers. VERDICT Canizales presents teens with many compelling visual and emotional moments, but a simplistic search for justice leaves the story feeling unfinished. Perhaps that incomplete quest is a reality on a societal level as well.—Emilia Packard - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2022 Chased from her village in the dead of night by men wearing camo and brandishing guns, Andrea, a young Indigenous Colombian woman, and her fellow villagers are passed from one agency to another, ending up in a stuffy two-room apartment in the city, so small and so full of people that her baby dies from a lack of oxygen. Having dreamed of a jaguar that tells her to return to her region of Amazonia and reclaim what is hers, Andrea arrives at the gates of the illegal mining camp that has replaced her village with two goals: to bury her child in sacred land and to photograph enough evidence to prove the land was stolen. Canizales creates a bleak landscape by using a palette of blacks and grays broken only by splashes of red, pink, and orange. His figures look as if they’ve been created using woodcuts, the starkness of the artwork emphasizing the trauma experienced. With characters sympathetic but never pathetic, the story—part thriller, part political drama—will grip readers from page 1. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.