by Alda P. Dobbs
It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Petra Luna's mama has died while the Revolution rages in Mexico. Before her papa is dragged away by soldiers, Petra vows to him that she will care for the family she has left--her abuelita, little sister Amelia, and baby brother Luisito--until they can be reunited. They flee north through the unforgiving desert as their town burns, searching for safe harbor in a world that offers none.
Each night when Petra closes her eyes, she holds her dreams close, especially her long-held desire to learn to read. Abuelita calls these barefoot dreams: They're like us barefoot peasants and indios--they're not meant to go far. But Petra refuses to listen. Through battlefields and deserts, hunger and fear, Petra will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and lead them to a better life across the U.S. border--a life where her barefoot dreams could finally become reality.
Target age: 9-12
"Alda P. Dobbs' stunning debut novel, set during the Mexican Revolution, recounts one girl's determination to save her family and follow her dreams. Inspired by the author's great-grandmother, Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna is as breath-taking as a shooting star. Although the novel takes place over a century ago, this moving story has a profound resonance today. The lovable characters, swift pacing, and simple yet poetic prose make this a captivating read for middle-graders and their entire families. I adored this book and will be recommending it far and wide!" -Laura Resau, award-winning author of Tree of Dreams and The Lightning Queen
"Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna will draw you in with its raw, evocative setting, and Petra herself will win your heart with her courage, resourcefulness, and unwavering love for her family. Lyrical, heartfelt, and deeply authentic, this book will stay on your mind long after you've read the last page." -J. Anderson Coats, award-winning author of The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming
"What hunger would you endure, what history would you sacrifice, what hazards would you brave to lead your family through a war? Petra Luna's incredible odyssey in pursuit of her 'barefoot dreams' is as vital and perilous and hopeful as that of today's dreamers, who still set off across the desert seeking a better life in America more than a hundred years later." -Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee