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Ages 9 to 14
A resonant, captivating book about a brother and sister caught in a dark chapter of world history.
Between 1936 and 1939, a civil war raged across Spain. For almost three years, ordinary citizens lived in fear of bombs dropping from the sky. When fascist dictator Francisco Franco declared victory, he began to persecute everyone who had once opposed him. Spain became a country of secrets, where anyone who was different was in danger.
Different explores this turbulent period through the voices of seven-year-old Socorro and nine-year-old Paco. Because Papa has fled Spain due to his political beliefs, the siblings and their mother must hide the truth in order to survive. Paco is always hungry, and Socorro is never good enough for her teachers at school. But they can’t ask for more food or better treatment: someone might find out who they are, or—worse—why their father isn’t home anymore. At last a letter from Father arrives, with a chance for their family to reunite in Venezuela …
Dramatic oil-pastel illustrations and poignantly chosen words express the emotions of two children coming of age in a time of extremism and fear. Based on the author’s family history, this middle grade story is a stirring depiction of the Spanish Civil War, its tragic aftermath, and the timeless struggle for freedom from political violence.
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