María Rosalía is a Mestizo servant in a Spanish home. Orphaned years ago, she and her brother Domingo work on a ranch run by the stern Señor Medina.
María's writing captures the intense tradition and culture of the Spanish as she observes the war that Alta California ultimately loses to the Americans.---from the publisher
"Maria Rosalia de Milagros, a 13-year-old orphan working on a California rancho in 1846, picks up a discarded diary that changes her life forever. She writes in secret--no one knows she can read and write--and the journal becomes a "refuge in a sea of work" and a powerful tool that helps her make sense of her life.
She writes about the hard work; the rare pleasures of church festivals; her coworkers and wealthy employers; and the disturbing increase of norte americanos coming to California. Some of them, like kindly Senor Johnson, become friends and neighbors; others steal land and are eager to appropriate Alta California for the U.S. Maria's most heartfelt writing, however, is about being orphaned.
Garland has cast Maria as a sturdy heroine, whose love for Alta California infuses her story with a strong sense of place, and the historical details are both accurate and interestingly woven into the story. Like other books in the popular Dear America series, this one is illustrated; it also includes a glossary of Spanish terms, an epilogue, and a lengthy historical note. A worthy addition." Jean Franklin--from Booklist
208 pages 978-0439088206 Ages 9-13
Keywords: diary, historical fiction, 19th century, American history, orphan, Latina, Latino, Latinx, diversity, diverse books, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, part of a series, The California Campaign