Each of Us a Desert

Macmillan Audio. 2020. 1,230p. $50.99. ISBN 9781250223272.
Gr 9 Up–In this future version of the world, Xochitl is the reluctant savior of her village. Since she was young and pressured into the role of cuentista, Xo has been hearing the secrets of the people in her small town. She gives these secrets to the goddess Solis, which causes her to lose all memory of them. Then, one day, she decides to hold onto a friend’s secret, which makes it impossible to let go of any future secrets without losing his as well. Xo sees the people in her village in a new way and realizes that she has many questions about her role in the world. As she sets off to find them in a large city across the desert, Xo is joined by the daughter of the man who has forcefully taken over her village and who killed Xo’s friend. Together they traverse the harsh landscape in search of answers and a different life. Along the way, they discover more about their culture, the magic around them, and their feelings for each other. The almost lyrical narration by Frankie Corzo matches perfectly with the epic feeling of this story. Spanish words are intermingled naturally throughout the story. For readers not familiar with Spanish, hearing the spoken words will illustrate proper pronunciation, though the print book would need to be referenced for spelling.
VERDICT This epic story of personal discovery is magical in its simple complexity. The audiobook would be a great partner with the print version but can easily stand on its own.

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