Mayeros: A Yucatec Maya Family
By: George Ancona
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard/Harper Collins, 1997
Age Level: 9-12
Armando and Gasper live in Teabo, a small town in Yucatan, Mexico. The peninsula is the region where the Maya have lived for four thousand years. The boys live in the traditional thatched roof house with their family; their father, don Victor, doña Satulina, their mother, Leidi, their older sister and Rosa, their baby sister.
“Ancona journeys to his Maya roots and chronicles the daily lives of a rural family in the Yucatan Peninsula. Descendants of the ancient Mayan people, they live in the shadow of their pyramids in a culture still vibrant and alive. In an involving text, the activities of three generations of men, women, and children are described. In addition, information about the geography and history of the region is seamlessly interspersed throughout the narrative. When doña Satulina hauls water from the well behind the house, readers learn that natural underground pools called cenotes furnish fresh water. As the family prepares for the up coming six-day fiesta in the nearby town, daily tasks are linked either to Mayan traditions or customs introduced by the Spanish explorers. Crisp, full-color photographs amplify the actions described in the text, as do reproductions of Mayan illustrations. Ancona provides a unique perspective on the vibrant survival of an enduring way of life among such modern adaptations as bullfights, carousels, and school.”
– School Library Journal