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The Queen of Water by Laura Resau & Maria Virginia Farinango

Based on the true story of coauthor Farinango, this collaborative novel provides a nuanced look at race and class in late 20th-century Ecuador. Born in an impoverished Andean village but sent to work for a well-to-do family at the age of 7, Virginia finds herself at the nexus of two cultures as she enters her teens—that of her indígina heritage and that of her mestizo employers. The narrative voice overlaps, deepening our understanding of Virginia as she speaks in the present moment as well as retrospectively. The result is a fully fleshed-out coming-of-age/identity story. Ages 13 and up.

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