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Beyond the Barricade

by Deborah Ellis
£5.99   paperback  Oxford University Press (2009)

Beyond the Barricade by Deborah Ellis Diego has managed to get away from thugs who were forcing him to make cocaine paste in the jungle, but he doesn't know where he is or how he will find his parents. When he's taken in by the Ricardo family, he's eager to help them harvest their coca crop. Doing so reminds him of home because, like his family, the Ricardos need the harvest for survival. But the army doesn't want any coca getting into the hands of criminals who will turn it into cocaine for the western market and so destroys every leaf it can find. Every family in the area now faces devastation. In protest, the people organise a blockade of Bolivia's main road. Diego is swept along by the excitement of it all, and by the sense of belonging. He makes himself invaluable, running errands, helping out where he can, and making new friends.
 
But the good humour soon sours. At first the army merely threatens to break the blockade, but then its threats become a violent reality. When Diego is given the chance to escape, he is tempted. And when he discovers that the person offering rescue could take him to his family, it's almost impossible to resist. But should he stay and fight, or leave silently and perhaps, finally, find his family?

ISBN 13: 9780192727633 | ISBN 10: 019272763x