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list price: $14.95
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published: Oct 2016
ISBN:9781773060545
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd

The Cocalero Novels Bundle

by Deborah Ellis

tagged: caribbean & latin america, drugs, alcohol, substance abuse, violence
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:eBook
published: Oct 2016
ISBN:9781773060545
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd
Description

I Am a Taxi

For twelve-year-old Diego and his family, home is a prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents farmed coca, a traditional Bolivian medicinal plant, until they got caught in the middle of the government's war on drugs and were mistakenly convicted of drug possession.

Diego's parents are locked up, but he can come and go: to school, to the market to sell his mother's handknitted goods, and to work as a "taxi," running errands for other prisoners. But then his little sister temporarily runs off while under his watch, earning his mother a heavy fine. The debt and dawning realization of his hopeless situation make him vulnerable to his friend Mando's plan to make big money, fast.

Soon, Diego is deep in the jungle, working as a virtual slave in an illegal cocaine operation. As his situation becomes more and more dangerous, he knows he must take a terrible risk if he ever wants to see his family again.

Sacred Leaf

After he finally manages to escape from being a virtual slave in an illegal cocaine operation, Diego is taken in by the Ricardo family — poor coca farmers who provide a safe haven while he recovers from his ordeal in the jungle. But even that brief respite comes to an end when the army moves in and destroys the family's coca crop — and their livelihood.

Diego eventually joins the cocaleros as they protest the destruction of their crops by barricading the roads, confronting the army head on. As tension between the cocaleros builds to a dramatic standoff, the wonders whether he will ever find a way to return to his family.

About the Author

Deborah Ellis

DEBORAH ELLIS is the award-winning author of several books for kids and teens. She is best known for her novel The Breadwinner, which she wrote following her work at refugee camps in Afghanistan. She has also written on other serious issues affecting young people around the world, including drug use, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and war.

deborahellis.com

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Recommended Age and Grade
Age:
10 to 14
Grade:
5 to 9

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