Queen of Water
by Resau, Laura and Maria Virginia Farinango
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780385738972 *Starred Review* In a desperately poor Andean village in Ecuador, 7-year-old Virginia is sold off by her indigena (Indian) parents as a servant to an academic, mestizo family. In her new home, the wife beats her, the husband gropes her, and she is insulted as a longa tonta (stupid Indian). Still, she teaches herself to read and write and begins to perform science experiments in secret. Then, when she is 12, she finally gets a chance to return to her parents: But does she want to? And do they want her? Virginia does travel back to her indigena family, but there is not the expected sweet reunion. Ashamed of her illiterate parents and bitter that they gave her away, Virginia is uncomfortable in the family's mud-walled shack, where she cannot speak the language and hates the hard work. Could she go back to being enslaved in the mestizo family's clean prison ? Rooted in Farinango's true story, the honest, first-person, present-tense narrative is occasionally detailed and repetitive, but it dramatizes the classic search for home with rare complexity and no sentimentality or easy resolutions. Virginia's conflicts with her birth parents and her employers are heartbreaking, even as she finds a way to attend school and shape a more hopeful future. A moving, lyrical novel that will particularly resonate with teens caught between cultures.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780385738972 Gr 9 Up-A seven-year-old indigena goes from her family in the Ecuadoran Andes to be a servant in an urban home, where she is abused verbally and physically. As a teenager, she knows she must escape-but where can she find refuge. A heartbreaking, ultimately uplifting, tale of a young woman who takes her life in her own hands. (June) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780385738972 Gr 9 Up-Based on a true story, and told from the protagonist's point of view, The Queen of Water follows a seven-year-old indigena who was taken from her family in the rural Ecuadoran Andes mountains to be a servant in an urban home. Confused, afraid, and alone, Virginia accepts her captors as parents and loves their children. The prejudice of these mestizos, or middle-class natives, speeds the girl's assimilation, though it comes with a price: an inferiority complex that she confronts slowly as she secretly teaches herself to read. Confusion over whether or not her parents gave her away willingly serves the plot well; Virginia's dilemma doesn't fit neatly into formulas about courage and fighting for justice, although eventually both are within her reach. Her mistreatment by the woman of the house, an overweight, selfish dentist, is humiliating, constant, and disturbing; her husband plays her foil-understanding, even loving, until Virginia reaches adolescence-when he tries to molest her. This is a poignant coming-of-age novel that will expose readers to the exploitation of girls around the world whose families grow up in poverty.-Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.