- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (May 25, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394804244
- ISBN-13: 978-0394804248
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#173,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #50 in Books > Children's Books > Geography & Cultures > Explore the World > Central & South America
- #160 in Books > Children's Books > Geography & Cultures > Multicultural Stories > Hispanic & Latino
- #239 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Orphans & Foster Homes
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The Most Beautiful Place in the World Paperback – May 25, 1993
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5 Juan lives in a remote Guatemalan lake village, physically beautiful, yet desolate with the poverty that is matter-of-factly described by the young protagonist. When Juan's mother wants to remarry, the new man refuses to accept Juan, and he lives with his grandmother, who provides him with a shoeshine kit and puts him to work. Juan teaches himself to read some of the street signs by asking his customers to tell him what the letters are, and eventually asks his grandmother if he can go to school, knowing that she needs the money that he earns. All is well, however; Grandmother simply hasn't remembered that Juan is now old enough for school. Her own surprise is nothing compared to readers', though, when they discover that this boy, virtually on his own for years, is only seven years old. Colorful descriptions of the tropical beauty of Guatemala almost gloss over the exigencies of poverty. Cameron's style has almost a fairy-tale quality in that she takes no positions as to the rights and wrongs of the characters' situations or behaviors. Juan accepts all with stoicism, regarding the loss of his bed as worse than the loss of mother and father. He reflects that he still has his grandmother ( even though her protection seems rather scanty). Their hand-to-mouth existence is redeemed by their attitudes about lifeGrandmother's that the most beautiful place in the world is "anyplace you can hold your head up," and Juan's that that place is "where you love somebody. . .and you know that person loves you." A small , first-chapter book that is a very satisfying example of human values; a serious book for serious moments. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, McKinney, Tex.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
"Seven-year-old Juan lives in Guatemala, a place of stunning beauty and grim economic reality. Abandoned by his mother, Juan lives with his grandmother and shines shoes. He passionately wants to attend school, but fears Grandmother will say no. Finally gathering his courage, he is surprised when she not only agrees to send him to school but also chides him about the importance of standing up for himself. Juan tells this bittersweet story, which reads smoothly and powerfully on several levels, with warmth and dignity."--"Booklist.
Top Customer Reviews
She gives a wonderful message about the importance of education and asking for what is really important to you. Although this book is written in easy to read language and great illustrations, the author's messages are best discussed with young ones. I thank Ann Cameron every time I read this book.
Do any of us really want our children to worry that if their single parent meets a spouse that they would be discarded like this? This is not something an unsuspecting second grader should read. Buyer beware!
It is the story of a young boy, whose mom abandons him for her new husband who does not want kids. His grandma takes care of him, but somehow forgets to enroll him in school. It is a heartbreaking tale, and one which I can barely read aloud without sobbing. It evokes compassion in my students every year, and provides great discussion fodder. It can easily be read by an on level 2nd grader, and any adult could find lessons to take away from it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First of all been from Guatemala at first I was surprised by the story of the book. It's sad but it's so true, thank you for the book.Published 2 months ago by Victor Ochoa
Gorgeous story with a great lesson for us all. My boys, 5, 7 and 8 all enjoyed being read this book.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Read an excerpt of this book on a state test and decided to purchase it. Great for a read aloud for elementary students in grade 3-5.Published 6 months ago by Jules
Very nice story told in a sweet way. My 7 year old daughter loved itPublished 8 months ago by C. Pilieri
This is an exceedingly beautiful story of a young boy in Guatemala. I have used it many times with students I have tutored. Read morePublished 17 months ago by I'm A Reader
I read this to a student at school and he didn't think that he would like it but it turned out to be one of the BEST books that he has ever read. Love the book and the price. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mary
This is a beautiful story. It could have been written about any country as seen through the eyes of a child who was lost and now feels loved. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by NYjoyreader
I am an ELL teacher and I read this book with middle schoolers who have beginning English skills. I have a lot of students from Central America and they love being able to relate... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by Amanda F