The Most Beautiful Place in the World
by Ann Cameron
Illustrated by Thomas B. Allen
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This is an early chapter book that is written at a more mature level. The writing style is simple but the topic is far from it. Juan has a lot stacked against him in his life. His father left, he was abandoned by his mother, he needs to work to make money for him and his grandma to live off of but that doesn't make him give up on his dreams. This is a heartwarming story a little boy with such a positive outlook on life. This is a book that could be read by younger children and older students who may be reading at a lower level.
Rating: 4 stars