By Lyn Miller-Lachmann
(Curbstone Books, Hardcover, 9781931896498, 288pp.)
Publication Date: May 2009
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Daniel’s papá, Marcelo, used to play soccer, dance the cueca, and drive his kids to school in a beat-up green taxi—all while publishing an underground newspaper that exposed Chile’s military regime.
After papá’s arrest in 1980, Daniel’s family fled to the United States. Now Daniel has a new life, playing guitar in a rock band and dating Courtney, a minister’s daughter. He hopes to become a US citizen as soon as he turns eighteen.
When Daniel’s father is released and rejoins his family, they see what five years of prison and torture have done to him. Marcelo is partially paralyzed, haunted by nightmares, and bitter about being exiled to “Gringolandia.” Daniel worries that Courtney’s scheme to start a bilingual human rights newspaper will rake up papá’s past and drive him further into alcohol abuse and self-destruction. Daniel dreams of a real father-son relationship, but he may have to give up everything simply to save his papá’s life.
This powerful coming-of-age story portrays an immigrant teen’s struggle to reach his tortured father and find his place in the world.
Lyn Miller-Lachmann is Editor of MultiCultural Review. For Gringolandia, she received a work-in-progress award for a Contemporary Young Adult Novel, given by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Albany, New York, where she is active in organizations for peace, human rights, and a sustainable environment.
"This novel covers crucial historical events that have been too long ignored. Most compelling are the teens' non-reverential narratives about living with a survivor."—Booklist