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Colibri Rationale

Colibri Rationale

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Published by Jesse Franzen

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Published by: Jesse Franzen on Jan 08, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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by AnnCameron 
Approved for use in: 8
grade English
Summary of the Work 
 FromGale CengageLearning 
Stolen from her parents when she wasyoung, Tzunun, now called Rosa, can barely remember her early life,remembering only the time she has spentwith Uncle. Told that Rosa will bring him afortune, Uncle has kept her by his side asthey travel from village to village begging;sometimes Uncle is blind and sometimeshe's lame, but he's always a thief and acheat. This bothers Rosa immensely as onememory from her childhood is her mother admonishing her to "be honest." Consultingthe fortune teller Dona Celestina, Uncledecides have Rosa help him steal avaluable statue, Holy Maria of the Lilies,from a church in San Sebastian. Thisdishonesty is beyond what Rosa cantolerate and she gathers her courage to tellthe plan to the priest, though she's terrifiedof Uncle's possible retribution. Uncle iscaught and jailed and Rosa travels to DonaCelestina's home where she's taken in; onefinal confrontation with Uncle reveals thesecrets of her early life and offers Rosa thechance to be reunited with her family.
This text is to be used in a literature circle setting,where students will choose to read this text amongothers on and about Latin America. Students willresearch the history, culture, customs, music, art,architecture, etc. of the setting of this novel. Theywill discuss the text, its issues, and present on the book and their research to the rest of the class.
Professional Reviews and/orCritical Essays
 From School Library Journal 
Grade 5-8-Contemporary Guatemala is thesetting for this story of 12-year-old TzununChumil (Mayan for "Hummingbird Star"),called Rosa Garcia by the man whosupposedly rescued her from abandonmentat age four. Rosa and "Uncle" Baltasar travel from place to place, begging for their livelihood as he pretends to be blind. But,despite her dependence on and devotion tohim, Rosa is distressed by the dishonestyof their lifestyle and has memories of loving parents. Told by a seer, the Day-Keeper Do-a Celestina, that the child will bring him a treasure, Baltasar takes Rosa tothe town of San Sebastian where he and a
Noted Distinction
Expert Picks:
friend develop a plan to steal a valuablestatue from the town's church. The plot backfires when Rosa's conscience forcesher to seek out the priest and reveal their intentions, and the two men are jailed.Rosa runs back to the kindly Day-Keeper,who takes her in and gives her the courageto make a new life for herself. When Uncleescapes, Rosa must confront him and, in adramatic scene in which he plunges off acliff, she learns that she was kidnapped.With the help of the Day-Keeper and ascrap of paper found in his wallet, Tzununis reunited with her parents. Cameronlayers her compelling story with vividdescriptions of setting and weaves into thenarrative the complexities inherent in the blending of Mayan and ladino cultures andreligious practices. This is reflected in the book's title, which is the Spanishtranslation of Tzunun's name. A well-written and engrossing read.
Lexile Score: 730L
Readability Level:
Learning Resources Guidelines
The novel meets the Learning Resources Guidelines.
Standard Alignment:
Content Standard 1—Students construct meaning as theycomprehend, interpret,analyze and respond to literary works.Content Standard 2—Students recognize and evaluate howlanguage, literary devices,and elements contribute to the meaning and impact of literaryworks.Content Standard 3—Students reflect upon their literaryexperiences and purposefully select from a range of works.Content Standard 4—Students interact with print and nonprintliterary works fromvarious cultures, ethnic groups, traditional and contemporaryviewpoints written by both genders.Content Standard 5—Students use literary works to enrich personal experience andto connect to the broader world of ideas, concepts and issues.
Content Standard 1—Students write clearly and effectively.Content Standard 2—Students apply a range of skills andstrategies in the writing process.Content Standard 3—Students evaluate and reflect on their growth as writers.Content Standard 4—Students write for a variety of purposesand audiences.Content Standard 5—Students recognize the structures of various forms and applythese characteristics to their own writing.Content Standard 6—Students use the inquiry process, problem-solving strategies,and resources to synthesize and communicate information.
Content Standard 1—Students construct meaning as theycomprehend, interpret, andrespond to what they read.Content Standard 2—Students apply a range of skills andstrategies to read.Content Standard 3—Students set goals, monitor, and evaluatetheir progress inreading.Content Standard 4—Students select, read, and respond to print and nonprintmaterial for a variety of purposes.Content Standard 5—Students gather, analyze, synthesize, andevaluate informationfrom a variety of sources, and communicate their findings inways appropriate for their purposes and audiences.

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