The Jaguar's Children

The Jaguar's Children

Book - 2015
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Hector, a young Zapotec fleeing Mexico for a better life in the US with his friend Cesar, a biotech researcher, pays to be smuggled across the border by unscrupulous "coyotes," concealed in the tightly sealed, empty tank of a water truck packed with illegal migrants. Abandoned by the smugglers in the desert, they are left to die, their only lifeline Cesar's phone. When Cesar slips into unconsciousness, Hector reaches out to the one name with an American code--AnniMac--that becomes his lifeline to the world as he reveals what has brought him to this place, taking us back to an older Mexico; to the lives of his Zapotec grandparents and the ancient, mythic traditions, to the mystery behind the jaguar icon left to him by a mysterious archeologist, and the power of the corn myth. As legends fuse with the terrifying present, the dangers Cesar is fleeing become grippingly apparent: his research was threatening to expose the country's largest manufacturer of genetically modified corn, set to impose economic and cultural genocide on the native population. Finding the courage to survive is critical, even as hope dwindles.
Publisher: Toronto :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780307397164
Branch Call Number: F VAI NVD
Characteristics: 280 pages ; 24 cm


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Jul 30, 2015

A compelling, riveting read packed with social commentary. Like the narrator himself, readers won't know how (or if) Hector's plight is resolved until the very end.

Jul 20, 2015

Easy to read popular fiction. The author spent one year living in Oaxaca. The story is contrived, melodramatic, and dominated by male characters. (I have been visiting Oaxaca for 30 years and enjoyed reading about some of the place names, but repeat visitors will gain little or no insight from this novel.)

patcumming Jun 19, 2015

A suspenseful and harrowing story that highlights the plight of Mexican migrants. Well told but the political statements overshadow the story at times.

Feb 02, 2015

A riveting read. As Hector waits for a rescue he reflects on his life in Mexico, what brought him to this point and shares all the wisdom and history his beloved grandfather imparted to him. Will he be saved or not - we don't know until the story's end. A more fictionalized style than his last book. Enjoyed this book.


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Jun 25, 2015

All my life it was my abuelo who danced the jaguar to the music of the flute and drum through the smoke of copal burning, but when I was young I didn't know it was him, only that you never found the two of them together. No one saw him put it on - not the mask he carved himself or the suit of spots Abuela made. Some said he got the paint from the men who made the highway - black and yellow for the skin, red and white for the tongue and teeth, his own hair for the whiskers. I still don't know where he found the eyes and he could never tell. When I was older I understood that they were made of mirror glass and when he came close - close enough to bite - it wasn't only his eyes staring at you but your eyes also. For a moment you were the jaguar too.

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