Modern history unearthed as a boy becomes an innocent victim of corruption in the underbelly of Bolivia’s crime world, where the power of family is both a prison and the only means of survival.
It’s 1999 in Bolivia and Francisco’s life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family’s cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison by a corrupt system that targets the uneducated, the poor, and the indigenous majority, all hope is lost. Francisco and his sister are left with no choice: They must move into the prison with their father. There, they find a world unlike anything they’ve ever known, where everything—a door, a mattress, protection from other inmates—has its price.
Prison life is dirty, dire, and dehumanizing. With their lives upended, Francisco faces an impossible decision: Break up the family and take his sister to their grandparents in the Andean highlands, fleeing the city and the future that was just within his grasp, or remain together in the increasingly dangerous prison. Pulled between two equally undesirable options, Francisco must confront everything he once believed about the world around him and his place within it.
In this heart-wrenching novel inspired by real events, Melanie Crowder sheds light on a little-known era of modern South American history—where injustice still darkens the minds and hearts of people alike—and proves that hope can be found, even in the most desperate places.
Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys, Matt de la Pena, and Jacqueline Woodson.
Praise for An Uninterrupted View of the Sky:
★ ”Crowder delivers a disturbing portrait of innocent families trapped in corrupt systems, as well as a testament to the strength of enduring cultural traditions and the possibility of finding family in the unlikeliest places.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ ”Readers will feel utterly invested in Francisco’s various challenges…A riveting, Dickensian tale set in 1990s Bolivia.”—Kirkus, starred review
★ ”Themes of poverty, social injustice based on ethnicity, violence toward women, coming-of-age, romantic love, and a sliver of precarious hope are woven into the plot. This poetic, historical novel is an important addition to libraries given its focus on the consequences of U.S. involvement in Bolivian politics.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“[A] trenchant novel…This hard-hitting, ultimately hopeful story will open readers’ eyes to a lesser-known historical moment and the far-reaching implications of U.S. policy.”—Booklist
Praise for Audacity:
2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
Washington Post Best Children’s Poetry Book
New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
ALSC Notable Children’s Book nominee
★ ”Crowder breathes life into a world long past…Compelling, powerful and unforgettable.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ ”This book stands alone…an impactful addition to any historical fiction collection.”—School Library Journal, starred review
★ ”With a thorough historical note, glossary of terms, and bibliography, this will make an excellent complement to units on women’s rights and the labor movement, but it will also satisfy readers in search of a well-told tale of a fierce heroine.”—BCCB, starred review
★ ”This is an excellent title that can open discussions in U.S. history and economics courses about women’s rights, labor unions, and the immigrant experience.”—School Library Connection, starred review