A Promise to Keep
An entertaining adventure novel for young adults about a young man’s search for his Salvadoran roots.
by Mario Bencastro
Publication Date: November 30, 2005
Format: Trade Paperback
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 11 and up
Sergio finds himself between two countries. When he was six years old, his family emigrated from Central America to Los Angeles and he has lived there since. At sixteen, Sergio feels he has grown up without a homeland.
Sergio has spent many years under the strong and powerful influence of his grandfather, who lived with Sergio and his family until he died. Before he died, Grandfather told Sergio his wish: after living in a foreign country for many years, he wants to be buried in El Salvador, his native land. Sergio’s fight to honor his mentor’s wish lands him in a dangerous adventure full of unexpected disasters. This voyage allows Sergio to make a series of cultural discoveries while at the same time forcing him to take charge of a difficult situation.
A Promise to Keep explores the critical issues of identity, patriotism, and culture, significant matters to young Hispanic immigrants who come of age and are educated in the United States. In this novel, Mario Bencastro draws upon his own experience of working with immigrant teens to profoundly examine the pressing topics and problems that bicultural young adults face.
MARIO BENCASTRO is the author of award-winning novels that explore the impact of civil war in the lives of Central American immigrants in the United States. His first novel, A Shot in the Cathedral (Arte Público Press, 1996), was a finalist for the international Novedades y Diana award, and his collection of short stories, The Tree of Life: Stories of Civil War (Arte Público Press, 1997) focuses on the civil war that took place in El Salvador in the eighties. Odyssey to the North (Arte Público Press, 1998) examines Central American immigration into the United States. Bencastro’s novels have been published in Canada, El Salvador, United States, Haiti, India and Mexico. Bencastro lives in Florida.
Learn more at mariobencastro.org.
ATOS Interest Level: Middle Grades
Category: Young Adult