Walk Till You Disappear
Raised a Catholic, when 12-year-old Miguel suddenly learns that his ancestors were Jewish, his world seems to turn upside down. Rushing from the house, he becomes lost in the desert. Captured by a band of Apaches, after a daring escape he meets Rushing Cloud, a Tohono O’odham youth who is running away from a mission school. As the boys travel toward home, Miguel learns to survive in the desert, but more importantly, he begins to see his heritage in a new light.
|Interest Level||Grade 3 - Grade 7|
|Reading Level||Grade 5|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®|
|Number of Pages||208|
|Dimensions||5.25 x 7.5|
|Features||Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed|
“A survival story about a wounded boy who is lost and injured in the Arizona desert in 1872. A twist on the usual captivity Western, the story of young Miguel Abrano begins with the usual Native American clichés. Raised on a horse ranch in Arizona, young Miguel is a devout Hispanic Catholic who dreams of becoming a priest. But when Miguel’s father takes in a foreign traveler and asks him to translate an old family story written in a secret code, his well-laid plans fall apart. Shocked to learn that he and his family are secretly Sephardic Jews, Miguel rides angrily into the desert, where he is kidnapped by Apache warriors. Only after he escapes these men does he meet a kind Tohono O’odham boy named Rushing Cloud, who is escaping Indian boarding school and immediately agrees to help him. Per usual in the Western, the bad Natives are violent while the good Natives risk their own lives to educate the non-Native character and give him important spiritual lessons. The book’s saving grace is the twist: Young Miguel amends his judgmental Christian attitude after being inspired by Rushing Cloud. Miguel not only learns how to survive in the harsh desert—hunting, cooking, and tracking like an expert—he also learns to accept his complicated cultural inheritance. The desert is brought to life in a scenic novel with an important lesson about humility.”—Kirkus Reviews
Illustrator: Odessa Sawyer
Odessa Sawyer is an illustrator from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She works mainly in digital mixed media, utilizing digital and traditional painting.
Author: Jacqueline Dembar Greene
Jacqueline Dembar Greene is the award-winning author of more than 30 books for young readers, including the American Girl® Rebecca Rubin series and The Secret Shofar of Barcelona. She lives in Wayland, Massachusetts.