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.

The Bird Who Cleans The World: And Other Mayan Fables

The Bird Who Cleans the World and other Mayan Fables is collection of Jakaltek Mayan folktales, first told to the author by his mother and the elders of his Guatemalan village. They deal with the themes of creation, nature, mutual respect, and ethnic relations and conflicts. Told here for the first time in English and illustrated with Mayan images, these stories and fables speak eloquently of an ancient culture, at once preserving its history and recreating its tradition.