Groundwood Books

I Am a Taxi

Written by Deborah Ellis

For kids 10 - 14 years old | Published September 01, 2006 | ISBN 9781554980215
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse

Cover of I Am a Taxi

Regular price $9.95 CAD

208 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

I Am a Taxi

The Cocalero Novels

Deborah Ellis

Winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award

For twelve-year-old Diego and his family, home is a prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents farmed coca, a traditional Bolivian medicinal plant, until they got caught in the middle of the government's war on drugs and were mistakenly convicted of drug possession.

Diego's parents are locked up, but he can come and go: to school, to the market to sell his mother's handknitted goods, and to work as a "taxi," running errands for other prisoners. But then his little sister temporarily runs off while under his watch, earning his mother a heavy fine. The debt and dawning realization of his hopeless situation make him vulnerable to his friend Mando's plan to make big money, fast.

Soon, Diego is deep in the jungle, working as a virtual slave in an illegal cocaine operation. As his situation becomes more and more dangerous, he knows he must take a terrible risk if he ever wants to see his family again.

Awards and Praise
Readers will be caught up by the nonstop action in the prison, and also in jungle survival adventure, where escape is peppered by the specter of death.
  • Winner Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 2007
  • Short-listed Alberta Children's Choice Award, 2008
  • Short-listed Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, 2008