Author: Marsden, Carolyn
While changes are coming to her Mexican village, Rosalba hears that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012 and she dreams of an ancient Mayan boy, eyes bound in a shamanistic ritual, who hints at what Rosalba can do.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 146700
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 55761
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (-) (08/01/11)
School Library Journal (10/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (11/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2011 Nine-year-old Rosalba lives in rural Mexico, where her community clings to the remnants of their Mayan heritage. After befriending an Anglo girl whose scientist father studies the local frogs, Rosalba is introduced to a world of information: the frogs are dying off from a fungus; the world is getting warmer; and a Mayan prophecy states that the world will end in 2012. Meanwhile, in an earlier era (and in alternating chapters), a young Mayan shaman sees the potential destruction to the earth and tries to reach Rosalba to tell her how she can help change a devastating outcome. Marsden, who often writes across time and place, goes further in this book. Especially in the shaman’s chapters, a level of knowledge is assumed that might not be there for middle-grade readers, and Rosalba’s story also demands some suspension of disbelief about what a child can accomplish. On the other hand, the story is so dripping with myth and mystery that kids will be intrigued, and as always, Marsden’s writing is beautiful and her knowledge about children’s hearts is immense. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2011 Gr 4–6—Marsden's book is best when it focuses on Rosalba, a nine-year-old Mayan girl who lives in a remote area of Mexico and whose people still follow the beliefs of their forebears. Ideas such as appeasing the Earthlord for good weather and crops contradict the contemporary viewpoint of Alicia, a child from Mexico City who is traveling with her father as he researches environmental concerns in the region. Nevertheless, the girls become fast friends. Alicia helps Rosalba realize that her isolated community must take a proactive stance against the damage of encroaching road construction. First, though, Rosalba has to overcome limitations imposed on her by her own culture. Interspersed with the chapters about Rosalba's fight to make herself heard are the words of an unidentified individual undertaking ancient rituals; these segments are rife with unfamiliar terms, and the tone is overwrought and cryptic. Rosalba and the finally named shaman meet across time and space, but it comes too late to be satisfying. In the final analysis, though, the annoying shaman's accounts are a minor quibble because Rosalba's story of self-realization is a strong one, and the juxtaposition of traditional and new ideas delivers considerable food for thought. A burgeoning environmental crisis is timely, as well.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2011 Nine-year-old Rosalba, a Mayan girl living in a remote Mexican village, learns from Alicia, a ladina girl from faraway Mexico City visiting with her father and his team of environmental scientists, of an ancient Mayan prophecy that predicts the world will end in the following year, 2012. Alicia convinces Rosalba that the decline in the region’s frog population (the subject of her father’s research) is an indicator of the world’s demise; the frog population is further affected by road construction in the region that is destroying frog habitat in the name of building an unwanted road to Rosalba’s village. Interwoven with Rosalba’s story are passages in the voice of a shaman boy named Xunko living in the year 600; the two narratives meet when Rosalba sees visions of the shaman and begins to follow his directives. Marsden, author of titles such as Take Me with You (BCCB 4/10), tackles some topics unusual for her here, particularly the story of Xunko and the violent, visual descriptions of sacrifices and rituals experienced in his time. It’s not always a successful effort, though: the accessibly told story of the two girls has a very different audience than the account of Xunko and the violent sacrifices of his time. Ultimately, this is a tale about the impact of environmental destruction, a lofty topic made approachable through Rosalba’s understanding; however, the dialogue occasionally reaches beyond the girls’ level, impairing both credibility and accessibility. Those willing to put forth the extra effort to understand the two plotlines and the big lessons, however, will find much to reflect upon in this contemporary exploration of deforestation and modernization. A glossary and author’s note are included. HM - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.