Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna

By Alda P. Dobbs




Publisher: Sourcebooks Young Readers 

Language: ‎English

Hardcover: 288 pages

ISBN-10: ‎1728234654

ISBN-13: ‎978-1728234656



2022 Pura Belpré Honor Book

NYPL Best Book of 2021

Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection

NPR Best Book of 2021



Based on a true story, the tale of one girl's perilous journey to cross the U.S. border and lead her family to safety during the Mexican Revolution.


It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Petra Luna's mama has died while the Revolution rages in Mexico. Before her papa is dragged away by soldiers, Petra vows to him that she will care for the family she has left—her abuelita, little sister Amelia, and baby brother Luisito—until they can be reunited. They flee north through the unforgiving desert as their town burns, searching for safe harbor in a world that offers none.


Each night when Petra closes her eyes, she holds her dreams close, especially her long-held desire to learn to read. Abuelita calls these barefoot dreams: "They're like us barefoot peasants and indios—they're not meant to go far." But Petra refuses to listen. Through battlefields and deserts, hunger and fear, Petra will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and lead them to a better life across the U.S. border—a life where her barefoot dreams could finally become reality.





"Dobbs' wrenching debut, about family, loss, and finding the strength to carry on, illuminates the harsh realities of war, the heartbreaking disparities between the poor and the rich, and the racism faced by Petra and her family. Readers will love Petra, who is as strong as the black-coal rock she carries with her and as beautiful as the diamond hidden within it."—Booklist, starred review


"Blazes bright, gripping readers until the novel's last page."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Vital and perilous and hopeful."—Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee

"Historical fiction that is as relevant as ever...A timeless and timely tale of one girl’s journey to save her family and discover herself." — Kirkus Reviews

"This beautifully written and exciting story of a family fleeing during the Mexican revolution offers a new perspective in historical fiction. An excellent addition to all collections." — School Library Journal


Alda P. Dobbs' upcoming novel, Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, was inspired by her great-grandmother's experience during the Mexican Revolution in 1913. Alda was born in a small town in northern Mexico and moved to San Antonio, Texas as a child. She studied physics and worked as an engineer before pursuing her love of storytelling. She is as passionate about connecting children to their past, their communities, different cultures, science, and nature as she is about writing.


Alda's writings have won various awards including the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award and the Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant. She has also written articles for Highlights Children’s Magazine, Guideposts, and La Prensa newspaper.


Alda lives with her husband and two children outside Houston, Texas.


To learn more about Alda and her books or to sign up for her quarterly newsletter, visit


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