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Mikaelsen, Ben.
New York : HarperTempest, 2004.
ISBN 0060090057

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Gabriela is happily awaiting her fifteenth birthday.  In her small Guatemalan village, a girl's fifteen birthday celebrated her entry into womanhood.  Her family is planning a great party and everyone will be invited.  Little does she know what is in store for her in the days following her party.  Guatemala is at war with itself.  The villagers have no love for either the soldiers or the guerrilla fighters.  They just try to stay neutral and stay safe.  When Gabriela is as the market, soldiers attack her village and kill everyone.  But her little sister and brother get away.  And now Gabriela is fleeing with the children trying to find a safe place.  The things she witnesses on the way are sights that no one should ever see.  She will have to depend on her wits and her bravery to find safety.

Booktalk #2

Gabriela, nicknamed Tree Girl, is 14 years old living in  Guatemala . She was given her nickname due to her ability in climbing trees. She comes from a large family that is very poor. Since her family is so poor, she is the only member who attends school. She loves school and looks forward to her quinceanera-her 15th birthday party. Her 15th birthday party ends up being the worst night of her life. Guerillas attack the village and kill almost everyone, but she survives by climbing a tree. She feels so guilty that she survives that she vows to never climb a tree again. Gabriela is forced to flee and head to the Mexican border with her remaining family members. How does she survive this terrible ordeal? Will she ever climb a tree again? Read Tree Girl to find out. (Prepared by: Pam Newton, SCASL Young Adult Book Awards)

SUBJECTS:      Mayas -- Fiction.
                        Sisters -- Fiction.
                        Refugees -- Fiction.
                        Indians of Central America -- Guatemala -- Fiction.
                        Guatemala -- Fiction.


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