Nobel Peace Prize winner and Mayan activist Rigoberta Menchz brings the world of her earliest childhood vividly to life in this colorful book. Before the war in Guatemala and despite the hardships that the Mayan people endured, life in the Mayan villages of the highlands had a beauty and integrity. This was forever changed by the conflict and brutal genocide that was to come. Menchz's stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her, and her retelling of the stories that she was told present a rich, humorous, and engaging portrait of that lost world. Domi draws on the Mayan landscape and rich craftwork to create the stunning illustrations that complement this engaging story.
Gr. 4-7. Maya activist and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Menchu, with assistance from Guatemalan National Literature laureate Liano, offers a memoir of her girlhood in the Indian village of Chimel, in Guatemala. Each short chapter tells a story that adds to the broadening picture of history of the village and the everyday life and beliefs of its people. An early story tells of the writer's grandfather literally sweeping his intended bride off her feet and carrying her away to start a new village. Another anecdote provides vivid sensory details of an afternoon spent picking and eating forbidden blackberries, while still another gives a straightforward description of and the meaning behind the traditional practice of burning a baby's umbilical cord and the mother's placenta.Created with strong, primitive forms and vibrant colors, full-page oil paintings brighten half the double-page spreads and provide memorable scenes of Chimel through three generations. Providing a rare firsthand account of Guatemalan village life, this translated book is a good choice for students curious about the Maya as well as those seeking to complete the perennial memoir assignment.