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Dear America: Valley of the Moon:: Diary of Maria Rosalia De Milagros [Hardcover]

Sherry Garland
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2001 Dear America
María Rosalia is a Mestizo servant in a Spanish home. Orphaned years ago, she and her brother Domingo work on a ranch run by the stern Señor Medina. María¹s writing captures the intense tradition and culture of the Spanish as she observes the war that Alta California ultimately loses to the Americans.

Product Details

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-A story set during the final months of Mexican rule that incorporates historical events and the many factions of early California-americanos, mexicanos, indios, californios-into it. Orphaned at age five, Rosa and her younger brother were cared for at the Mission Rafael by Padre Ygnacio before they became servants at the large Medina rancho. The children are treated benevolently, often as family. However, Rosa longs for knowledge about her own parents-a secret that comes to light at the conclusion. The book includes a historical note, black-and-white reproductions from the time period, and a glossary of Spanish terms. (Unfortunately, there is no pronunciation guide.) A current map of the U.S. shows the locations of San Francisco and Sonoma Valley; however, historical locations and Baja California are not marked. The strength of this well-researched book lies in the inclusion of so much factual information. However, the quick pace of the plot allows for little depth of character or emotional reaction to the events. None of the characters plays a strong or active role in the historical happenings. Rosa primarily reports the events that take place around her. Despite the book's shortcomings, it will be a popular follow-up to other "Dear America" titles (Scholastic).-Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Maria Rosalia de Milagros, a 13-year-old orphan working on a California rancho in 1846, picks up a discarded diary that changes her life forever. She writes in secret--no one knows she can read and write--and the journal becomes a "refuge in a sea of work" and a powerful tool that helps her make sense of her life. She writes about the hard work; the rare pleasures of church festivals; her coworkers and wealthy employers; and the disturbing increase of norteamericanos coming to California. Some of them, like kindly Senor Johnson, become friends and neighbors; others steal land and are eager to appropriate Alta California for the U.S. Maria's most heartfelt writing, however, is about being orphaned. Garland has cast Maria as a sturdy heroine, whose love for Alta California infuses her story with a strong sense of place, and the historical details are both accurate and interestingly woven into the story. Like other books in the popular Dear America series, this one is illustrated; it also includes a glossary of Spanish terms, an epilogue, and a lengthy historical note. A worthy addition. Jean Franklin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Valley of The Moon: The Diary of Maria Rosalia De Milagros is a wonderful book and very interesting. It is a Dear America Book written by Sherry Garland, who also wrote A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence. Valley of the Moon is the 1840's diary of a half-Mexican, half-Indian girl who is a servant on a rich Mexican rancho in California. She writes about her daily life and the people in it in her diary. She doesn't worry about holding back her feelings when she writes about her chores, the people she knows, and the Americans taking over California during the Mexican-American War. It was very neat to get the perspective of a Mexican girl - something that is very hard to find.
Rosy is 14 years old, growing up in northern California as a servant on the Medina's Rancho. In her diary she writes about the Medina daughters and what she thinks about them (especially the oldest), and about the cattle branding and bull fights which were interesting to watch. In addition, since all Mexicans were Catholic at that time, Rosy tells of how they celebrated the holidays, Christmas and Easter, in Mexican California. She writes about her new best friend, Nelly, and how her own mother died of smallpox in the woods when she was very young. After she died, Padre Ygnaco found Rosy and her younger brother and brought them to the mission, where she learned how to read and write. Later in this book, Rosy sets off to find out the past of her mother and father.
This book has 222 pages and 185 of them are the actual diary. The other 37 pages consist of the epilogue, a glossary of Spanish words used in this book, and a historical note. The historical note gives a brief history on how Alta (upper) California became a home for Mexican rancheros and later American settlers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my FAVORITE DEAR AMERICA BOOKS!! June 21 2001
By A Customer
I really love "Valley of the Moon". In the book, Maria and her brother Dominigo are orphans and are loved by a family they work for. Maria searches for her birth parents and finds out what happened. The book also tells about that she is a devoted Christian and when California becomes a republic. Also, here is how Maria found about her parents and how a little scar made the story tell.
Maria's father met her mother. She was an idian and the father fell in love with her because of her charm and beauty. But, it was not allowed for an idian to marry a white man. But, they got maried in an idian wedding ceromony. the mother gives birth to maria, then her brother. That's when disaster strikes. Smallpox have hit, and while papa is gone, the mother rushes with her 2 children to a spanish mission to get vaccinated. There is only enough medicine for 2 people, so the mother makes the ulitmate sacrifice of love and her two children get the medicine. She dies near the mission and that's when maria and her brother are taken in by a family. what happened to maria's father was heartbreaking. he found his house empty and was told that the family died of smallpox. Later on he never married and died a heartbroken man. So, there is a taste of it. still, READ THE BOOK!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Sherry Garland's Best! May 3 2001
By Maryam
Maria Rosalia De Milagros is a servant for the Medina family on thier ranch in Alta California. She doesn't know who her father was and her mother died from smallpox. The only blood relation she knows is her brother, Dominigo. Maria (Rosa for short) wants to know who her parents were and what happened to them. While living with the Medinas she lives with Miguela (the lovely, yet very hard to get oldest daughter of the Medinas) Rafaela, the pale and sickly sister who gets sick by a simple bruise, Gabriela the sister who treats Rosa like a sister(but she is brought up learning that Rosa is lower than her and could have remarks as hard as stone at times) Senor Medina, the kind father of the Medina family, who treats Dominigo like the son he never knew, and Senorita Medina. Along comes Senor Henry Johnston (an americano) and desperately tries to get married to Miguela. While Senore Johnston is trying to get Miguela's hand in marriage, he has a friendship with Rosa and introduces her to his niece, Nelly. Nelly has faced many hardships. She came from Missouri to Alta, California, and right before she reached California her parents died. The only close relativity that she has now is her brother, Walter, whom Rosa has a secret feeling towards. Great addition to the Dear America books!
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I loved "Valley of the Moon", it was fantastic. Maria Rosalia and her brother Domingo are orphened after the smallpox plague that took the life of her mother and thousands of other Native Americans living in Alta Califorina. She is servent to a wealthy Spainard family living on rancho in 1846. The Medinas love Maria and her brother as if they were thier own, but Maria Rosalia longs to find her true family and find her past and know her real name(Maria Rosalia was the name Padre Ygnacio gave her when he found her and her brother maria for the virgin mary and Rosalia for roses and domingo for sunday thats the day he found them,Milagros is because it's a miracle he found them alive).The Medinas have 3 hijas, Gabriela, Miguela, y Rafeala. Miguela is a very independent woman, strong-headed, and intellagent. Rafeala is a sickelly girl also pale and too tired. Gabriela is a hyper child and very bossy, but loves Rosa(short for Rosalia). Rosa helps with the fiestas and I enjoyed "Valley of the Moon" on Personally level ,I being half Mexican, it taught me more of my heritage and the language my mother used, so I recommed this book to any one, Sherry Garland truly captured the sprit of the Mexico and it's people.Also inclued is a glossary of spanish terms used through out the book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Valle of the Moon
This book is about a mexican slave girl named Maria. Nobody knew she was educated. Only one man knew and that was Senior Jhonston. Read more
Published on March 10 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Valley of da Moon
In Alta California, Rosalia keeps a diary as a friend what had happened in 1846. Rosalia was just 13 years old and 14 in the next part. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Valley of the moon
I will tell you about a Daer America book inthis reviwe. It is called valley of the moon . the name of person who wrote this book is Sherry Garland. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars best book in the world(the dear america series)
the book valley of the moon from dear america series is a great book.i loved this book and i recomend it to everyone. Read more
Published on May 1 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars best book in the world
i loved this book and i recomend it to everyone.i loved this book so much that i told all my friends about it.it was a happy, sad and beautifully written book. Read more
Published on May 1 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Dear America Diary
This book is suposed to be a diary, not a "story" book. Personally, although the story has a nice plot, it reads like a story, and I think it has too many coincidences to resemble... Read more
Published on April 3 2002 by Linda Oberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be 10 stars!
One of the wonderful things about this book is that it gives the point of view of the Spanish when the Americans were trying to take over California. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2002 by Tweety
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Sherry Garland
Sherry Garland is definitely at her best in this book set in California. You are able to empathize with nearly all the characters and believe that this truly happened.
Published on Sept. 1 2001 by LynnWin
4.0 out of 5 stars very good!
The plot itself was extremely exciting and interesting. I gave this book four stars instead of five because although the book was excellent, it was kind of irratating to keep... Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Suspenseful Book!
This is a great book about thirteen year old Maria Rosalia De Milagros. She works on the Medinas ranch in Alta California. Read more
Published on July 31 2001 by hiphopgirl_1000
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