The Secret Legacy

Rigoberta Menchu returns to the world of childhood in this, her third book. The novel’s seven-year-old heroine, Ixkem, is chosen to tend to the prized cornfields once her grandfather has passed away. But Ixkem isn’t sure she can accept this great responsibility. Out in the fields, she discovers a legion of tiny people, no bigger than bananas. They are b’e’n, nahuales — secret animal spirits — and when they take Ixkem into the underworld where they live, she regales them with tales of the surface. What they offer in return helps Ixkem to accept both her grandfather’s wishes for her and the fact that she must soon wish him goodbye. This moving story is rich with emotion and Mayan folklore, perfect to captivate any young reader.

My Pig Amarillo

Amarillo is Pablito’s best friend. They do everything together-run, hide from each other, jump in the mud. They are inseparable, just like many best friends. But Amarillo is a bit different-he is a little yellow pig. When Pablito comes home from school one day and Amarillo isn’t there, Pablito is devastated. Where could he be? Pablito can’t eat; he can’t sleep. His heart feels as if it will break wide open. But Grandfather has an idea, a way for Pablito to send a message to Amarillo, and help him say goodbye to his best friend. My Pig Amarillo is a beautiful story for children of all ages, full of friendship and love and learning to let go.

Sawdust Carpets

The Lau family travels to Antigua, Guatemala to visit their cousins. Although the Laus are Chinese and Buddhist, they adore the pageantry of Easter, and Easter in Antigua is exciting, with long, elaborate processions of penitents wreathed in incense and carrying colonial Spanish statues down the cobblestone streets of the city. The best part is seeing the elaborate carpets made of colored sawdust, which the processions walk over and destroy. On the morning of the most important procession, the heroine is invited to make her very own sawdust carpet. But why, she wonders, make something so beautiful, only to have it be ruined?Guatemalan and Chinese religious observances, dragon boat races and Easter processions, piñatas, baptisms, and Chinese tamales all weave in and out of this story, which celebrates beauty, religious celebration, and tolerance.