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Silver People – Margarita Engle


Silver People is about the building of the Panama Canal one hundred years ago. The story is told in multiple voices. It begins in 1906, when an American recruiter promising lots of money contracts poverty-stricken workers mostly from the Caribbean Islands. He offers the opportunity of a lifetime.  The reality is somewhat different the hours are long, the food is very basic the conditions are life threatening, mud slides, malaria, monsoon rains and snakes!

The main characters are Mateo a young worker from Jamaica  and Anita a local girl who collects herbs and sells them to the workers These two become friends in the challenging environment .  Mateo has lied about his age just to get away from his tragic life and his fathers fists!

It is beautifully told in rhyme and an enjoyable read for 12 years +

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