Mia's Story by Michael Foreman

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Mia's Story by Michael Foreman

Buy Mia's Story by Michael Foreman at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An inspirational story about a young girl living between the city and the Andes mountains and how her resourcefulness might bring hope for her family.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2007
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1406305333

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Michael Foreman was travelling from Santiago in Chile into the Andes Mountains when his bus broke down near a village. It was there that he met Mia and in his Sketchbook of Hopes and Dreams he tells her story.

The village is called Campamento San Francisco and it's between the big city and the Andes Mountains. It used to be farmland but as the city grew all the villagers could harvest was the rubbish that the city threw away. The homes are shacks made from what can be found and there is no road - just a muddy track. But this is Mia's home and her world. The village has a school and a communal oven where the bread is baked.

Each day Mia's father goes into the city to sell scrap as the villagers are very good at mending what the city throws out. Sometimes he comes home happy with money in his pocket but other days are not so good. His dream is that in time he will build a house of bricks. One day he brings Mia a puppy he found wandering in the city and Mia calls him Poco because he's so small. But Poco gets lost and Mia follows the track up into the mountains, far higher than she's ever been before and it's there that she makes a discovery that might one day mean that her father can build the house he dreams about.

Oh, this is a wonderful story. It's told with a deceptive simplicity but it touches on the very heart of what's important. Mia has very little in the way of material possessions, but she's happy, she's positive and she's resourceful. The family live in a shack but they take pleasure in each other's company and they can provide a home for a stray dog. Even Poco's disappearance leads to something better.

The story is, of course, accompanied by Michael Foreman's inimitable pictures done in subdued, dream-like watercolours. The drab landscape of Campamento San Francisco is set against the stark whiteness of the Andes. When Poco goes missing the colours reflect Mia's worry and desperation, quickly replaced by the joy which she and her pony find as they roll in the snow high up in the mountains, where the air in unpolluted and the sky is clear and blue. The scenes in the city bring out the carnival atmosphere of the cathedral square and suddenly a South American city is alive in front of you. It's the sort of book which you finish and immediately turn back to the beginning to read again.

I've made a list of all the children I know who would love a copy of this book. It's pure delight with wonderful illustrations and a strong story line which provides plenty of opportunity for discussion about the spread of cities, waste and pollution - important points conveyed with a light touch.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag - it's one to treasure.

If this book interests you then you might also enjoy Woodie Guthrie's This Land is Your Land and The Getaway by Ed Vere.

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Buy Mia's Story by Michael Foreman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mia's Story by Michael Foreman at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Mia's Story by Michael Foreman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mia's Story by Michael Foreman at Amazon.com.


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