About this book
I Am a Taxi
The Cocalero Novels
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.
About the Author
DEBORAH ELLIS is the author of more than two dozen books, including The Breadwinner, which has been published in twenty-five languages and was recently adapted into a feature-length animated film and a graphic novel. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. She has received the Ontario Library Association’s President’s Award for Exceptional Achievement, and she has been named to the Order of Canada. She has donated almost $2 million in royalties to organizations such as Women for Women in Afghanistan, UNICEF and Street Kids International.
Awards and Praise
- Short-listed Alberta Children's Choice Award, 2008
- Long-listed OLA Golden Oak Award, 2008
- Commended Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice, 2007
- Commended SSLI Honor Book, 2007
- Short-listed Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, 2008
- Long-listed SYRCA Snow Willow Award, 2007
- Commended CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, 2007
- Commended CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection), 2007
- Commended White Ravens, 2007
- Long-listed YALSA BBYA, 2007