Sunday, August 24, 2014

Travels with Pepper #1: South America

During Travels With Pepper, we visit books from different cities, countries, or continents. Most of the books mentioned won't be books I have read personally, but I believe it's a great way for everyone - readers and myself - to branch out from their comfort zones and promote more diverse reading.

This is only the first Travels with Pepper post, so if you have any suggestions or feedback, I'd be so glad to hear what you think.


The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau

This one is about a girl named Zeeta whose mother packs them up and moves to a different country every year. Zeeta is desperate to settle down and live in one place, especially after she meets Wendell - a boy in search of his birth parents. As she helps him and her feelings grow, they find that Wendell's birth father is actually quite dangerous.

This book is set in Ecuador and is the first in a series. The other books change settings, though, and are no longer in South America.


The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

This one is a dystopian set in future Brazil. The two main characters, June and Enki, are artists living in a place where new technology is limited. They create art, fuel a rebellion, and fall in love - all the while knowing that Enki is a Summer King. All Summer Kings are destined to die.

Also, as far as I can tell this is a standalone! That alone put it on my TBR. How many dystopian standalones have you heard of?


Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino

This one is historical fiction set in Guatemala. It's about a family surviving in a time where soldiers patrol the streets, people go missing, and even children are being recruited as soldiers. When Tomasa's mother and brother go into hiding, and then their house is destroyed, she and the rest of their family set out to find them. It's a story of how the family sticks together through difficult times.

I will warn that I'm not sure how much of this book takes place in Guatemala. In the Goodreads summary, it is said that the family become refugees to the U.S.


Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

This one is also historical fiction, set in the Amazon rainforest. Although Goodreads calls it young adult, I suspect this one is more middle grade by the cover and description.

Maia is an orphan who is sent to live with her distant relatives. She is super excited about her romanticized image of the rainforest and the adventure this move will bring. However, her cousins forbid her from exploring the area at all. Of course, she refuses to listen and goes out on an adventure that eventually leads to her going down the Amazon River to find a giant sloth.

I didn't want to just take a bunch of books from already established lists, although I did find a few of them while doing research. Sadly, there weren't many references for young adult literature in South America, but I did find this one from Epic Reads:

If you want non-YA reads, those are bit easier to find through Google or Goodreads. And if you know of any more young adult reads set in South America, I'd love to hear about them!

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