I Am a Taxi (Cocalero Novels #1) (Paperback)

I Am a Taxi (Cocalero Novels #1) By Deborah Ellis Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the Cocalero Novels series.


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.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Praise For…

Winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 2007

A SSLI Honor Book, 2007

Long-listed for the YALSA BBYA, 2007

"the strength of the book lies in the glimpse of a single individual struggling to exist in a society with limited options for escape." Horn Book, starred review

"Vivid details and a thrilling plot will keep older children and teens engaged in this highly-accessible, realistic storyline." Reforma

"This is not your usual teen storylinean excellent story that will appeal to any readers who feel trapped by their livesThe characters are well-drawn and realistic." Library Media Connection

Product Details
ISBN: 9780888997364
ISBN-10: 0888997361
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication Date: September 1st, 2006
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: Cocalero Novels