Juan lives in Guatemala, in the mountains. It is a poor but beautiful place, with volcanoes rising from the shores of a blue lake, and flocks of brilliantly plumed wild parrots living in the trees.
Juan is a shoe-shine boy. Although he’s only seven years old, he works hard every day to earn his keep. He has lived with his grandmother since his parents abandoned him.
But Juan dreams of other things. Most of all, he longs to go to school like other children his age . . .
Seven-year-old Juan lives in Guatemala, a place of stunning beauty and grim economic reality. Abandoned by his mother, Juan lives with his grandmother and shines shoes. He passionately wants to attend school, but fears Grandmother will say no. Finally gathering his courage, he is surprised when she not only agrees to send him to school but also chides him about the importance of standing up for himself. Juan tells this bittersweet story, which reads smoothly and powerfully on several levels, with warmth and dignity.