Until the Day Arrives
Written by Ana Maria Machado
Translated by Jane Springer
Publication Date November 15, 2014
A fast-moving middle-grade novel set in the seventeenth century about two Portuguese orphans who are sent to Brazil where they encounter slaves from Africa. Together with their new friend, an aboriginal boy, they work towards reuniting the slaves with their families and helping them escape to freedom.
The novel opens when Bento is wrongly thrown into Lisbon’s prison by the king’s guards, leaving his younger sibling, Manu, to fend for himself. Fortunately, a nobleman’s family helps to reunite the siblings — although they will have to lead a life of exile in Brazil. They keep secret the fact that Manu is a girl in disguise so that she will be able to accompany her brother aboard ship.
The story shifts to the African savannah, where a young boy, Odjigi, is hunting gazelle with his father and other men. But the hunters soon become the hunted — they are kidnapped by slave traders, as are the women and children of the village, marched to the sea, shut up in dark, airless huts to prepare for the voyage across the Atlantic, and then undergo the horrifying trip itself.
In Brazil, the siblings quickly adapt to their new lives, but they are shocked by the existence and treatment of African slaves. Manu befriends an aboriginal boy, Caiubi, and a slave, Didi, who has been separated from his father. Meanwhile Bento falls in love with Rosa, a beautiful young slave who is also searching for her family. When Manu learns from Caiubi that escaped slaves have formed quilombos — villages hidden deep in the forest where they live in freedom — she is determined that they must help Didi and Rosa escape.
Ana Maria Machado
Ana Maria Machado is one of the world's most distinguished writers for children, with more than 100 books published in her native Brazil and in more than 18 other countries. She has won the Hans Christian Andersen Award and the Iberoamerican Children's Literature Award, and she has been elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters — the first writer for children to be so honored. She has also been chosen for the honor list of the highly prestigious Dutch Prince Claus Award. Groundwood has published two of her novels, Me in the Middle (Américas Award Commended List) and From Another World, and her picture books Wolf Wanted, which won the Hors Concours (FNLIJ), and What a Party! Ana Maria lives in Rio de Janeiro.
Jane Springer is the author of Genocide, part of the Groundwork Guides series for which she is also the series editor. She is a consultant in international development and has lived and worked in Mozambique and India. She is the author of Listen to Us: The World's Working Children and translator of the Portuguese-language books Nest Egg and Tales from the Amazon. Jane Springer lives in Toronto.
"Machado’s finely sketched characters and settings propel this historical novel . . . This brief but action-packed novel offers memorable insights into slavery, colonial life, and the promise of freedom." Publishers Weekly
"Offers vivid descriptions, an intriguing plot and a setting not often seen in North American literature for children." Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will admire the patience of and preparation taken by the siblings to ensure that their strategies succeed. A gripping adventure." Booklist
"The fast-moving adventure and authentic glimpse of Brazil’s early settlers will recommend this to young readers as well as to admirers of prolific Andersen Medal winner Machado." Horn Book