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Green Was My Forest

By Edna Iturralde

Translated from Spanish by Jessica Powell

A story for young readers (ages 8-14) about the culture, customs and ancestral wisdom of the indigenous groups living in the Ecuadorian Amazon, highlighting their collective love, respect and custodianship of the natural world.

In these thirteen delightful stories, children's author Edna Iturralde takes young readers into the dense forests of Ecuadorian Amazonia to encounter six surviving native tribes: the Achuar, the Shuar, the Waorani, the Siona-Secoya, the Quichua, and the Cofán. To children of the developed world, the lives of their Amazonian counterparts will seem vastly different-in terms of dress, diet, housing, work, spiritual beliefs, and rituals—from their own lives; and yet they will find commonalities: love of family, of place, of play, of animals, and of nature. Each story is told from a child's perspective, identify with, and feel empathy for, the fictional characters. Using accessible language, the book balances storytelling with educational features such as maps and descriptions of each tribe. Brilliant ink drawings by the Ecuadorian artists Mauricio Maggiorini, Eulalia Cornejo, and Santiago Gonzalez illustrate each story.

The stories in this collection offer a rare glimpse into the lives of Ecuador's Amazonian people, whose cultures and ways of life are being continually eroded and threatened by outsiders and the forces of modernization. Each story is about a different child who belongs to one of these tribes. As we follow the child's story, we discover what life is like for the people of the jungle. Although each tribe has its own customs, beliefs, and language, they all share a reverence for the earth and a reliance on ancestral wisdom that enables them to live in harmony with nature.


Happiness (Achuar) "It was the driest time of year in the rain forest and the sweltering heat of the afternoon was gathering at the end of the day. Three Achuar boys had gone together to cool off in the river."


Three boys Achuar cool off in the river


Green Was My Forest, book release


Edna Iturralde, author & Jessica Powell, translator

Edna Iturralde (Ecuador, 1948-present) has published over sixty books and is widely considered one of the most important authors of children's and young adult literature in Latin America. The recipient of multiple awards, including the Skipping Stones Award and the International Latino Book Award,

Iturralde's work has received significant international recognition, and five of her books have been included in Common Core kits for schools in nineteen US states. In 2014 her collection of short stories, Verde fue mi selva, now translated and published here in English for the first time as Green Was My Forest, was selected as one of the ten best children's books written in Latin America during the twentieth century. Her books are used in the school curricula of Houston and Los Angeles. The Texas Library Association selected two of her books for its 2016-17 list of ten recommended books. Two of her books are part of the Required Summer Reading Books recommended by Scholastic Books.

Jessica Powell has translated dozens of works by a wide variety of Latin American writers. Her Rojo's novel Woman in Battle Dress (City Lights, 2015) was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. Her translation of Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya (Mandel Vilar Press, 2016), was named a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award, and it made the long list for the 2017 National Translation Award. Her translation of Pablo Neruda's book-length poem, venture of the infinite man, was published by City Lights Books in 2017.


ISBN: 9781942134602

Paperback with flaps, 154 pp 36 illustrations 9781942134503

$14.99 E-Book $9.99

Distribution: Distribution: Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) 866-400-5351. Email orders can be sent to orders@ingrampublisherservices.com

Mandel Vilar Press 19 Oxford Court, Simsbury, CT 06070

Robert A. Mandel, Publisher robert@mandelvilar.org

806-790-4731

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