Young Adult Literature


Go and Come Back
by Joan Abelove


From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up?A young teenage Indian girl narrates this engaging novel that deals with the impact of two American anthropologists who come to live for one year in her Peruvian jungle village. Alicia finds the outsiders interesting, although their ignorance and stinginess is a source of consternation and sometimes amusement. She has other concerns, too?she is supposed to marry her sister's husband, and she rescues and adopts a baby who is at risk from its abusive Peruvian father. By the end of the novel, the baby has died and the two "old ladies" (in their late 20s) are leaving, but both peoples have learned a lot about one another's humanity. The life and customs of the Indians are presented in a matter-of-fact way by Alicia, whether she is telling the strangers that it is important to have sex with several?but not too many?men in order to have strong babies, or that children must learn to lie well. Indian words and phrases flavor her speech. This compelling novel is based on the author's field work in the early 1970s; however, the group is given a fictional name and the information about their customs is anecdotal and never overwhelms the narrative. The spirited heroine evokes Karen Cushman's Catherine, Called Birdy (Clarion, 1994).?Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ
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-ALA Best Book for Young Adults