BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Colibrí by Ann Cameron

ColibriEven though “Uncle” calls her Rosa Garcia, Tzunun Chumil knows her real Mayan name, and that in Spanish, Tzunun is ‘colibrí,’ which means “hummingbird.” She knows somewhere that she has a mother and father that once loved her very much, that she lived a happy life filled with colorful joy.

Now at 12, Tzunun wanders from village to village, often leading “Uncle” by a stick as he pretends to be blind, misleading the unsuspecting into giving him coins. Her peripatetic existence is lonely, her relationship with “Uncle” strained and uncertain, but “Uncle” is convinced that she will lead him to a great treasure one day so he will not let her go.

Tired of waiting for riches, “Uncle” seeks a fortune teller who not only confirms that Tzunun will guide him to wealth, but more importantly, shows Tzunun a glimpse of the love and nurturing for which she has been hungering for some eight years. In search of his easy life, “Uncle” drags Tzunun to a big city where his longtime friend Raimundo has a plan … and Tzunun has no choice but to participate.

Author Ann Cameron, a longtime resident of Guatemala, clearly writes with cultural sensitivity and resonating knowledge. To hear actress Jacqueline Kim narrate the audible version of Cameron’s memorable novel proves to be a hypnotic, almost addictive experience. Her controlled cadence hauntingly reveals Cameron’s unflinching glimpses into Guatemala’s troubled history – of massacres, colonialism, the kidnapping of young children for international adoption – presented just right for younger readers.

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2005


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