Winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children''s Book
For twelve-year-old Diego and his family, home is a prison in
Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents farmed coca, a traditional
Bolivian medicinal plant, until they got caught in the middle of
the government''s war on drugs and were mistakenly convicted of
Diego''s parents are locked up, but he can come and go: to
school, to the market to sell his mother''s handknitted goods, and
to work as a "taxi," running errands for other prisoners. But then
his little sister temporarily runs off while under his watch,
earning his mother a heavy fine. The debt and dawning realization
of his hopeless situation make him vulnerable to his friend
Mando''s plan to make big money, fast.
Soon, Diego is deep in the jungle, working as a virtual slave in
an illegal cocaine operation. As his situation becomes more and
more dangerous, he knows he must take a terrible risk if he ever
wants to see his family again.