El Lector by William Durbin

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Synopsis

Thirteen-year-old Bella wants to be a lector just like her grandfather. All day long he sits on a special platform in the cigar factory in Ybor City, Florida, reading books, newspapers, and current events to workers as they roll the cigars. Lectors have always been highly respected members of their Cuban American community.
But now times are changing. When the factory workers clash with the owners, violence erupts and the lectors start losing their jobs. And then there’s the radio. Could this small device replace the lector? It’s up to Bella to determine her future and help her people preserve their history.
 

About William Durbin

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\William Durbin has published several books for young readers, among them The Broken Blade, Wintering, Song of Sampo Lake, and Blackwater Ben. The Broken Blade won the Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Books and the Minnesota Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and live in northearstern Minnesota.
 
Published February 14, 2006 by Wendy Lamb Books. 208 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When her Aunt Lola is arrested with other cigar workers after a union meeting, and the lectores are removed from the factories and replaced by radios, Bella finds a way to preserve her family and her dream.

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Publishers Weekly

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Durbin (Song of Sampo Lake) makes Depression-era Florida come alive with poetic details, in this novel starring 13-year-old Bella, who longs to be a lector and to tell stories with the same exuberance as her grandfather.

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