Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 7 to 12
The fish out of water story of a young Mennonite girl from Bolivia trying to find her way in a big city, for fans of Stephanie Oakes's The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly.
Ana is not your typical teenager. She grew up in a tiny Mennonite colony in Bolivia, from which her mother fled when Ana was a young girl. Now Ana and her father have also fled, and Ana doesn't know why. She only knows that something was amiss in their tight-knit community. Arriving in Toronto, Ana has to fend for herself in this alien environment, completely isolated in a big city with no help and no idea where to even begin. But begin she does: she makes a friend, then two. She goes to school and tries to understand the myriad unspoken codes and rules. She is befriended by a teacher. She goes to the library, the mall, parties. And all the while, she searches for the mother who left so long ago, and tries to understand her father -- also a stranger in a strange land, with secrets of his own.
This is a beautifully told story that will resonate with readers who have struggled with being new and unsure in a strange place, even if that place is in a classroom full of people they know. Ana's story is unique but universal; strange but familiar; extraordinary but ordinary: a fish out of water tale that speaks to us all.
About the author
Trilby Kent, PhD. read Modern History at Oxford University and Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics. She has written for The Guardian, The National Post, and The Globe and Mail and has taught in Canada and England. A winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Prize and shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award, she lives in Toronto with her family.