On twitter someone recently asked for recommendations of historical books for boys and I realized I hadn't written up this one!
The Walls of Cartagena (Simon & Schuster, 2008) by Julia Durango is a historical novel based on real people in the 17th century. This very good and memorable story introduced me to some history and a place previously unknown to me.
Here's a brief look at the story: Calepino was taken in by a wealthy woman when his slave mother died and has been raised with a life of privilege. But now at 13, because of his gift with languages, he is having to go with Father Pedro and help minister to those coming off the slave ships.
At last year's SCBWI conference in LA, Julia accepted a Golden Kite for her book Sea of the Dead. I love what Julia says about herself on her blog: "Purveyor of Children's Books & Monkey Business." You'll see why if you read about her other books. I love the picture of her house and her "out of the box" author visit idea, too.