Groundwood Books

The Girl from Chimel

Written by Rigoberta Menchu • Written by Dante Liano • Translated by David Unger • Illustrated by David Unger

For students in grades - 4 | Published July 03, 2005 | ISBN 9780888996664
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage

Cover of The Girl from Chimel

Regular price $18.95 CAD

56 pages | 9.750 in × 6.600 in
Print Format

About this book

The Girl from Chimel

Rigoberta Menchu • Dante Liano • David Unger • David Unger

An American Library Association Notable Books List selection

Nobel Peace Prize winner and noted Maya activist Rigoberta Menchu Tum brings the world of her childhood vividly alive in The Girl from Chimel.

Before the thirty-six year war in Guatemala, despite the hardships the Maya people had endured since the time of the Conquest, life in their highland villages had a beauty and integrity that were changed forever by the conflict and brutal genocide that were to come. Menchu's stories of her grandparents and parents, of the natural world that surrounded her as a young girl, and her retelling of the stories that she was told present a rich, humorous and engaging picture of that lost world.

Marvelous illustrations by Domi draw on the Maya landscape and the rich visual vocabulary that can be found in the weavings and crafts for which the Maya are world-renowned.

About the Creators

Rigoberta Menchu

Rigoberta Menchu Tum won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. She lives in Guatemala and devotes herself to fighting for the rights of Maya Guatemalans and other First Nations in the Americas as head of the Fundacion Rigoberta Menchu Tum. She has received numerous international awards and honorary degrees and has also written Crossing Boarders: An Autobiography, I Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala; as well as two books for younger readers - The Girl from Chimel and The Honey Jar, both illustrated by Domi and published by Groundwood Books. The Secret Legacy is co-authored with Dante Liano, an eminent, award-winning Guatemalan writer who now lives in Milan.

Dante Liano

Dante Liano is an eminent Guatemalan writer and National Literature Award laureate. He currently lives in Milan, where he teaches Latin American literature. He is the author of The Man from Montserrat, The San Andres Mystery and co-authored of The Girl from Chimel.

David Unger

David Unger received Guatemala’s 2014 Miguel Angel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement, though he writes exclusively in English and lives in the US. The Mastermind (Akashic Books, 2016), his latest novel, has been translated into Spanish, Arabic and Italian. In 2011 he published The Price of Escape (Akashic Books) and Para Mi, Eres Divina (Random House Mondadori, Mexico). Other books include Ni chicha, ni limonada (F y G Editores, 2009) and Life in the Damn Tropics (Wisconsin University Press, 2004). His short stories and essays have appeared in Delta de las arenas: cuentos árabes, cuentos judíos (Literal Publishers, 2013), Puertos Abiertos (FCE, 2011), Guernica Magazine (February 2016, April 2011, November 2007 and August 2006) and Playboy Mexico (October 2005). He has translated 14 titles including Popol Vuh, Guatemala’s pre-Columbian creation myth, and the work of Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala), Silvia Molina (Mexico), Nicanor Parra (Chile), Teresa Cárdenas (Cuba) and Mario Benedetti (Uruguay), among others.

David Unger

Domi's wonderful illustrations appear in many children's books, including the Napí titles by Antonio Ramírez; The Night the Moon Fell (La noche que se cayó la luna) and The Race of Toad and Deer (La carrera del sapo y el venado) by Pat Mora; The Girl from Chimel, The Honey Jar and The Secret Legacy by Rigoberta Menchú; and The Story of Colors by Zapatista hero Sub-Comandante Marcos. Domi is Mazateca and grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Awards and Praise
  • Commended ALA Notable Books List, 2006