Spanish / Chile
Un diamante en el fondo de la tierra
(A diamond in the ground)
Blanco Pantoja, Daniel (illus.)
Santiago: Amanuta, 2015. –  p.
(Series: Sin límites)
Grandfather | Grandson | Recollection | Chile | Dictatorship | Picture book
White Ravens issue: 2016
Reading age: 9+
The students are told to ask their grandparents about their life stories and to write them down, but it seems at first that the first-person narrator’s grandfather has little to offer. While other children’s grandfathers tell of being brave sailors or highly-decorated military men, eccentric or romantic, womanizers or zealous challenge seekers, he usually looks out the window, lost in his memories. Gradually it becomes clear that his is a special biography. The child’s grandfather was persecuted and abused for his political activism, as was his wife, who was also arrested, taken away and never came back. In just a few words, almost austerely, the story describes an individual fate that also calls forth memories of the military dictatorship in Chile (1973-1990). The black-and-white illustrations, which draw on a comic art and film aesthetic, visualize some facts only hinted at in the text by displaying unmistakeable quotations from Chile’s collective memory.