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by Skila Brown

Hardcover, 208, Candlewick, List Price: $15.99 |


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NPR Summary

Carlos lives in a rural Guatemalan village in 1981, when the country is mired in civil war. After a group of soldiers attacks his village, young Carlos must make his way up a mountain on foot to warn his grandmother about the encroaching violence.

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Read An Excerpt: 'Caminar,' By Skila Brown

Not Yet

I was strong enough
to break the wood into small pieces and feed
our fire. I kept our stove top warm.
But Mama would not send me out to cut a tree. "Not yet,"
she said, and put away the blade.

I was old enough
to feed the chickens, gather eggs
by myself. I watched out for them all.
But Mama would not let me wring their necks. "Not yet,"
she said, and wiped her brow, feathers stuck to her arm with blood.

Guerilla Rain

They came
in rain,
the end
of wet
season, when
rain was
no longer


it beat
our roof,
turned floor
to mud,
washed off
the army


They came
in rain.
We huddled
inside, waited
for earth
to stop
its slide.

They came,
sacks empty
bellies empty
guns full.


They marched
right through
our town,
made their
way into
the jungle.
And when
the last
of them
had been
sucked in
by thick
green arms,

the rain

Why I Dropped the Mushrooms



pop pop pop pop

pop pop pop

pop pop

it sounded like
on a saints' day—

except for the


From Caminar, by Skila Brown. Copyright 2014 by Skila Brown. Reproduced with permission from Candlewick Press.