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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Valle of the Moon March 10 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book is about a mexican slave girl named Maria. Nobody knew she was educated. Only one man knew and that was Senior Jhonston. The main characters where Senior Jhonston, Nelly, Rafaela, Maria, and the owners. In this book, she talks about what happened on certain days. For example, on one day there was a bullfighting contest. On another day a bear wonders into the mission, and her brother and some other guys go to kill it. At the end of the book, Maria finds out who her mother and father are.
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Format:Hardcover
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Valley of da Moon Oct. 22 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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. This happened when she has to stay with the Jhonston family in Alta California. It also happened in All Soul's Day which is called: " Day of the Dead". All Soul's Day happened 2X in her diary. In the end of the epilouge, it says: Rosalia went to San Fransisco at the age of 73 seeing the Jhonstons and she was killed in the great San Fransisco earthquake in 1906.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Valley of the moon Dec 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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. This book is not that long it has 218 pages this book ishistorial fiction the setting of this story is on a farm and lots of other places. Maria's mother died of smallpoxs and someone found her.Maria is a servant os she is not supposde ti know how to read or write.Thre are 3 rasons Ilike this book . I like Dear America books. Maria is a good person to read about , and the book is not that long. Valley of the moon is the best book I read this year. You should look for it in a book store .
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
the book valley of the moon from dear america series is a great book.i loved this book and i recomend it to everyone. this book was so great that i told all my friends about it.this was a happy, sad and beautifully written book. i just want people to know how i felt about it book. so please read it.(for me)thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best book in the world May 1 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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. i just want people to know how i felt about this book. so please read it. (for me)thank you
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Dear America Diary April 3 2002
Format:Hardcover
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 "real life". This seems to be fast becoming a trait of the Dear America diaries. I have been collecting them since I was twelve, I am now fifteen and am really noticing the differences in the newer books. The older diaries were really like diaries. Bad things happened, it wasn't all sunshine and smiles. Even though Maria's best friend died, it is glossed over. I think that Valley of the Moon is good historical fiction, but isn't on the same level as some of it's predecessors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Should be 10 stars! Feb. 5 2002
By Tweety
Format:Hardcover
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.
Not only does this book teach you about an important part of history, it also fascinates you with the story of a young girl who doesn't know her past. You will be spellbound as she tries frantically to discover who her parents were. A definite must read.
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