Weston, CT–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 18, 2007–First Prize for Fiction for Young Adults in English went to RIBBONS OF THE SUN, a first-time novel by Harriet Hamilton. Easy to read, exciting and inspiring, the book was awarded for its literary excellence and to promote literacy within the Latino community.
“In my village we grow flowers. Big, strong, beautiful flowers. Carnations, roses, calla lilies, daisies—all kinds of flowers. When their buds start to open and they are the most beautiful, we take them to Santa María del Sol and sell them in the marketplace. My mother always told me I was her special flower, a gift from la Virgen. That’s why she named me Rosa.”
A 12-year-old from rural Mexico, Rosa has always wanted to go with her father to the nearby city to sell the flowers her family grows. She gets her wish one terrible day after the flower crop has failed when she is taken to town by her impoverished parents to be sold into servitude as a maid to an uncaring, cold family.
Abused, humiliated and shamed by the cruel patron, Rosa cuts off her long braids, that in her village were entwined with ribbons connecting her to her ancestors and to her ancient Mayan beliefs. Rosa’s shame and despair deepen when, expecting the patron’s child, she is thrown into the hostile streets of the city, homeless, friendless, and believing herself abandoned by her family and her gods. She decides to abandon her baby at the door of a mission and throw herself in front of a truck to end her terrible life.
She is saved by a young mission worker and is taken into the mission with her baby to recover her life and her beliefs and go back to living—once again connected to her culture and her past.
This book is impossible to put down, and you will never forget it.
The author, Harriet Hamilton, observed the lives of children like Rosa and her friends in the years when she was educated and lived in Mexico. She considered the book her legacy to exploited and abused children throughout the world. The book was published after her death, but RIBBONS OF THE SUN will survive in the hearts of the many people, young and adult, who will read it.
RIBBONS OF THE SUN by Harriet Hamilton is available from your favorite bookseller and will be seen at the Latino Book & Family Festivals in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
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