In a Nutshell:
On September 11th, 1973, as a result of a military coup, Chile fell into a 17 year long dictatorship. Many people died and disappeared, among those people were 34 children under 14. Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile is a collection of 34 poems, with each poem a tribute to each one of the children. A beautiful book.
Childhood, love, loss, death/grief and identity.
I lived in Chile from 2009-2010 and I was very moved by this book and it reminded me of my time living there when I worked on a project about music and dance created during the dictatorship.
Las Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo found one of the children, Pablo alive in recent years and this book is dedicated to Pablo, see the poem in the image above.
Stockists: Want to read Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile? Buy it here
Title: Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile
Written by Maria José Ferrada
Illustrated by Maria Elena Valdez
Translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel
23/03/2021, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
#WITMonth for 2021 is curated by Jess Andoh-Thayre
I am 35, from London but currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have lived in Tanzania, Chile, Spain and now Cambodia. I am married to a diplomat and we have been posted in Dar es Salaam 🇹🇿 and now Phnom Penh 🇰🇭. Prior to married life, I had also lived in La Serena, Chile and Madrid, Spain.
I am a French, Spanish and English teacher, translator, avid reader and now blogger. When I am not teaching, reading and blogging, I love seeing a brilliant sunset, swimming and hanging out with my husband and son.
Author: Maria José Ferrada
María José Ferrada is a recipient of the Municipal Prize of Literature of Santiago, as well as the Academy Award from the Chilean Academy of Language. María currently works as the children’s editor of Chilean Memory, a digital resource center of the National Library of Chile. Of writing this book, she said: “I think it was very important for me to write Niños, dedicated to the children who were detained, disappeared, and executed during the Chilean dictatorship. I think that book taught me that it is possible to write for boys and girls about painful topics and that not only adults need literature to reflect on our society. Children also have that need and books can accompany them in that journey.” María lives in Santiago.
Translator: Lawrence Schimel
Lawrence Schimel was born in New York in 1971. He is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English. He is also a prolific literary translator. His picture books have been selected for the White Ravens from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany and have twice been chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, among many other awards, honors, and Distinctions. He started the Spain chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators and served as its Regional Advisor for five years. He also coordinated the International SCBWI Conference in Madrid and the first two SCBWI-Bologna Book Fair conferences. He lives in Madrid, Spain and New York City.