News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A tender and uplifting Young Adult novel

The Season of Stories 
by Silvio Sirias

The Season of Stories by Silvio Sirias is a young adult novel that contrasts the lives of two adolescent characters living four centuries apart. Both live in a time of cultural collision. Sirias skillfully weaves the two narratives, keeping us interested in both storylines.

Anayansi is an indigenous teenage princess living in Central America. Her story begins as their tribal group encounters the arrival of Spanish conquistadores in the early 1500s. Anayansi soon falls in love with one of the Spaniards, leading to an inevitable dilemma.

Diego is a sixth-grader in Los Angeles during the early 1960s. Part of an immigrant family from Nicaragua, Diego effectively navigates the fusion of cultures in Southern California. His mother, however, does not adapt as well. This leads to the crux of conflict in Diego’s story.

How Anayansi and Diego resolve these challenges reveals much about their character—and the makeup of those around them. In both stories, the young protagonists quickly adapt to their new cultural environment while most of their elders struggle. The novel helps us see that there is hope in this suppleness. How the stories of Anayansi and Diego are connected is deftly revealed at the novel’s end.

Silvio Sirias is an author whose decency and compassion shine through the novel’s central characters. (Moreover, it’s refreshing to find a contemporary Young Adult novel that foregoes the slick allure of vampires, wizards or the paranormal.). In The Season of Stories, Sirias has given us an engaging, tender and uplifting novel that nurtures the better angels of our nature.

Review by Raul Ramos y Sanchez

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