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.

Genre: Middle Grade/ YA

Age Appropriate: 9-12 years old

Number of Pages: 288 Pages

Date of Publication: 14/09/2021


The author of this book is Alda P. Dobbs and Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna is her debut novel. The Publisher is Sourcebooks Kids

Rating: 5/5


This is a book that I felt extremely privileged to be reading. I absolutely loved everything about this book, the writing, the characters and the research into and around the Mexican Revolution and some of the not very well known situations and history. This is a poignant story which will touch your heart and gives you a glimpse into what Mexican people went through during the Mexican Revolution. This book touched me like a few books have before. I am from Mexico and this book was able to take me away and bring me back to my culture and to the beliefs of my ancestors.

Petra Luna is an extraordinary main character. She is brave, resourceful, smart, caring, honest and determined to keep a promise and to fight for her dreams despite being only 12 years old. Petra is a young girl who has to take responsibility for looking after her abuelita (grandmother), younger sister and baby brother by herself. The story tells us how they had to flee their town as the Federals (government soldiers) destroyed everything during the Mexican Revolution and it gives us a perspective into Mexican society and how poor people had to live and survive. While reading this book I had so many feelings such as anger, sadness and happiness and you can only get this from a story that is well written and heartfelt.

I encourage any middle graders and adults in general to read this heart-warming and heart-breaking story that will inspire you to believe in yourself.

An interesting fact about this story is that it had been inspired by the experiences of the author’s great-grandmother and what she endured during the Mexican Revolution.

Availability: The book is coming out this October and you can pre-order it now.

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