It’s 1951, and workers at the Empire Zinc mine in Alba, New Mexico, have been striking for months. Among them is Ana Maria Garcia’s father, who says they may need to sell her vihuela to pay rent. But her vihuela was a gift from her recently deceased mother, and her dream is to be a corridista, a singer of Mexican ballads. As Ana Maria is drawn to the picket line, she is inspired to write a corrido about her mother and the other women of the mining community. An upcoming talent show may be Ana Maria’s chance to earn money for rent and save her vihuela—if she can give voice to the song of her heart.
It’s the storytellers that preserve a nation’s history. But what happens when some stories are silenced? The I Am America series features fictional stories based on important historical events about people whose voices have been excluded, lost, or forgotten over time.
About the Author
Judy Dodge Cummings is a former history teacher and the author of more than 25 fiction and nonfiction books for children. She lives in south-central Wisconsin. Her other book in the I Am America series is When the Earth Dragon Trembled: A Story of Chinatown During the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.