**The Snail is pleased to offer a limited number of journals to go with this wonderful new middle-grade novel.**
From the moment her home is burned by the Federales and she is forced to escape into the nighttime desert, I was captivated by 12-year-old Petra Luna, who finds herself in the difficult position of leading her young siblings and grandmother on a difficult and uncertain journey. It is shocking to know that this story about a border crossing, which so closely parallels events of today, is based on Alda P. Dobbs's own grandmother's experience in 1913. This is a rich historical story will start timely conversations for readers of all ages. But, more than anything, young readers will find themselves drawn to the family story at the heart of the book and inspired by Petra's dreams and determination.
— Lady, Snail owner
Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna is a well written middle grade historical fiction about a girl and her family during the Mexican Revolution. Petra wants to go to school and learn how to read, but with the war waging, it is almost impossible. After her father is dragged away by soldiers, she swears to keep the rest of her family, her younger siblings and her abuelita safe. And she does that. Petra he only 12 during the story, but she is just as strong and determined as some of the older main characters I have read. This story taught me a lot about this period of Mexican history in an entertaining format. I strongly encourage everyone to read this book, but especially older elementary students and middle schoolers!
(Note on subject matter: includes war and death)
—Scarlett, Snail Junior Readers Circle, aged 14
September/October 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“Readers will be drawn into the Mexican Revolution as they follow Petra and her family through a world of Federales and revolucionarias. An engaging, action-packed, and mighty fine story!”
— Kim Brock, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
Wrenching debut about family, loss, and finding the strength to carry on.--Booklist, starred review
Vital and perilous and hopeful.--Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee
Based on a true story, the tale of one girl's perilous journey to cross the U.S. border and lead her family to safety during the Mexican Revolution
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.
Dobbs' wrenching debut, about family, loss, and finding the strength to carry on, illuminates the harsh realities of war, the heartbreaking disparities between the poor and the rich, and the racism faced by Petra and her family. Readers will love Petra, who is as strong as the black-coal rock she carries with her and as beautiful as the diamond hidden within it.--Booklist, starred review