Every Day the River Changes

Salama, Jordan. Every Day the River Changes: Four Weeks Down the Magdalena. New York : Catapult, 2021.
Drug lords and gangs. The country of Columbia is often known only for its crime. This fascinating travelogue – by a young New York writer – tells the story of the other people who live along the Magdalena River, the ones who have survived years of fighting between government forces, paramilitaries, and guerrillas. It tells the story of how they have been affected by environmental and political changes but continue to carry making their home along the longest river in Columbia.  Included is an intriguing chapter on Luis Soriano, the man famous for starting the ‘biblioburro’ travelling libraries and the subject of several picture book biographies. While this book is not for young children, it is highly recommended for competent mature readers 15 years old and up.

More books about Columbia…

Brown, Monica. Waiting for the BiblioburroTricycle Press, 2011.
Ana is so excited when books arrive in her small, remote village that she writes her own story about waiting for the travelling library – two burros loaded with books – to come again. Includes a note about travelling libraries in other remote areas of the world. [Columbia; Books and reading; Libraries].

Picture 2

Winter, Jeanette. Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia. Beach Lane Books, 2010.
Luis travels through the villages of rural Columbia, bringing books for children for children to read. [Books and reading; Columbia; Donkeys; Teachers]

Kunkel, Angela Burke. Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutíerrez and the Library He Built. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2020.
A night-time garbage collector, Señor José collects books from the trash of wealthy homes. Then, every Saturday, he opens the doors and welcomes eager children into his neighbourhood library. Set in  Bogotá, Columbia and based on a true story, this inspiring picture book – illustrated by Paola Escobar and accompanied by a detailed author’s note – will appeal to readers 7 to 12 years old who already know the joys of using imagination to enter new worlds. 

Durango, Julia. The Walls of Cartagena. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008.
“Thirteen-year-old Calepino, an African slave in the seventeenth-century Caribbean city of Cartagena, works as a translator for a Jesuit priest who tends to newly-arrived slaves and, after working for a Jewish doctor in a leper colony and helping an Angolan boy and his mother escape, he realizes his true calling.” – CIP. Highly recommended for readers 11 to 16 years old. [Catholic Church; Colombia; Faith; Leprosy; Slavery]

More books about South America

More books about rivers

Digging for Words

Kunkel, Angela Burke. Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutíerrez and the Library He Built. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2020.
A night-time garbage collector, Señor José collects books from the trash of wealthy homes. Then, every Saturday, he opens the doors and welcomes eager children into his neighbourhood library. Set in  Bogotá, Columbia and based on a true story, this inspiring picture book – illustrated by Paola Escobar and accompanied by a detailed author’s note – will appeal to readers 7 to 12 years old who already know the joys of using imagination to enter new worlds. 

More books about libraries

More stories set in South America

Biographies