Spanish / Colombia
Gómez Carvajal, Natalia
Guevara, Santiago (illus.)
Bogotá: El Salmón Editores, 2021. – 128 p.
Colombia | History 1948 | Revolt | Violence | Childhood memories
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2022
The so-called »Bogotazo« is deeply anchored in Colombia’s historical memory and still has an effect today. After the liberal politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated on April 9, 1948, the street riots that immediately broke out were violently suppressed. There were hundreds of deaths and injuries, and parts of the capital city, Bogotá, were heavily damaged. »Volteretas« picks up two months earlier and tells the story of ten-year-old Ciro, his parents, and his best friend Esteban, by depicting everyday life within their families, their neighbourhood, and at school. Both the text and the very accomplished colour illustrations and the black-and-white drawings and vignettes offer a vivid portrait of the figures’ lives, which are abruptly upended and changed dramatically. After April 9, Circo’s father disappears forever, and Esteban’s family must rush to get themselves to safety by leaving the country. This book demonstrates how complex political events can be successfully presented in stories and images suitable for young readers. [JW]