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Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6516-6
208 pages
Ages 10 and up

Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet—he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist.

Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her. . . . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.


Reviews & Awards

  • A Junior Library Guild selection
  • New York Public Library, 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014, Stories for Older Readers
  • Winner, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, 2015
  • ALA Notable Books for Children 2015, Older Readers
  • 2015 Américas Award Commended Title
  • 2015 Capitol Choices selection
  • Outstanding merit in the 2015 edition of The Best Children’s Books of the Year, selected by the Children’s Book Committee
  • 2015 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People Honor Book
  • School Library Journal’s Top Ten Latino Books of 2014 selection
  • Latino Literacy Now International Latino Book Award winner

Exquisitely crafted poems are the basis of an unusually fine verse novel…”

–Horn Book, starred review

“…a much-needed addition to Latin American-themed middle grade fiction.”

–School Library Journal, starred review

A moving introduction to a subject seldom covered in fiction for youth… A promising debut.”


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