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The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

Review

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

Sixteen-year-old Sonia Ocampo has lived her entire life in the tiny mining town of Tres Montes. Many of the young people dream of moving to the capital to find a job. Anything would be better than living in poverty with the future only promising the sudden death of a mining cave-in, or the slow death of a miner’s lung disease. However, opportunities for the capital jobs are few, and sometimes just getting there can be life-threatening. Other young people dream of sweet romance and a lifetime of marriage.

"Sonia is an endearing protagonist with whom many readers may identify.... THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND is a charming story of hope, courage, dreams and identity."                                   

Sonia has no hope for either of these dreams. Ever since her birth, she has carried the weight of the entire town’s worries on her shoulders. Those with concerns come to her for her special prayers, and everyone believes they are heard and answered…even Sonia. This is her destiny, her life. She spends her days praying, and has no time for careers or romance.

Then comes the horrific day when one of Sonia’s prayers isn’t answered, and a local boy ends up dead. Sonia realizes that she has no special powers, that her prayers aren’t any more powerful than anyone else’s. To save her family the shame of the awful truth, Sonia decides she must leave. With the help of her aunt, she manages to snag one of the jobs at the capital: housekeeping in the home of a rich woman. For the first time, Sonia is not known as a spiritual link to God, and is free to start dreaming. However, she’s not quite sure just what to dream about.

In the meantime, Sonia is earning money to send home, and even the maid’s quarters in which she sleeps is fancier than any home in Tres Montes. Of course, life in the big city isn’t all glamour and freedom. Her supervisor is a bitter old woman intent on finding her faults, and her employer’s nephew is a spoiled playboy determined to steal her virtues. And then Sonia learns of her brother’s disappearance.

Sonia and her brother, Rafael, have always been close. Just before she departs the village, Rafael confides that he, too, plans on leaving town. Unfortunately, he tries to do so in a shady, dangerous way, trusting the wrong people. He ends up missing and in terrible danger. Sonia turns to the only person she can for help: her dear friend, Pancho, the poor orphan who dreams of becoming a poet and storyteller, and also secretly dreams of Sonia. Together, they delve into danger in hopes of saving Rafael. Unfortunately, it may be too late.

Meg Medina writes with a delightfully descriptive flair, painting beautifully colorful pictures (“Hawks hung outside her window, and far below there were waterfalls cascading into rushing rivers, where rainbows rose in the mist, like bridges to some other world.”). Medina also does an interesting job of examining cultural and class differences, and her characters are distinctive and creative. Sonia is an endearing protagonist with whom many readers may identify. She feels trapped between family, obligations and her own dreams, even though she isn’t quite sure what her dreams are yet. THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND is a charming story of hope, courage, dreams and identity.  

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on April 27, 2012

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
by Meg Medina

  • Publication Date: March 13, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick
  • ISBN-10: 0763646024
  • ISBN-13: 9780763646028