Read A Gift of Gracias Online

Authors: Julia Alvarez

Tags: #Ages 5 & Up

A Gift of Gracias

Text copyright © 2005 by Julia Alvarez
Illustrations copyright © 2005 by Beatriz Vidal
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.,
New York, and simultaneously in Canada by
Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
Distributed by Random House, Inc., New York.
and the colophon are registered trademarks of
Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Alvarez, Julia.
A gift of gracias : the legend of Altagracia / written by Julia Alvarez ;
illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. — 1st ed.
p. cm.
summary: María’s family is almost forced to leave their farm on the new island colony, until a mysterious lady appears in María’s dream.
eISBN: 978-0-375-98482-2

[1. Oranges—Fiction. 2. Christian patron saints—Fiction. 3. Dominican Republic—Fiction.] I. Vidal, Beatriz, ill. II. Title.
PZ7. A48Gi 2005


For La Virgencita de la Altagracia, this little book is for you, keeping my promise. Thank you and
for all your blessings!


This one is for Morgan, my dearest goddaughter.


her mother called up. “Do you see them?”

María had climbed on the roof. Her father and the old Indian Quisqueya were not back from the city yet. What could have happened to them?

“No, Mamá,” María called softly down.

The orange sun was sinking below the horizon.

Before he left on his journey, Papá had asked María what gift he could bring her.

María knew the

was not doing well. Papá and his farmer friends were trying to grow olives like they had in Spain. But olive trees did not flourish in this new land.

“Just come back safely, Papá,” María had said. With the poor harvests all around, desperate

were holding up travelers on the road.

That night, as María lay in the dark, she whispered, “Remember my gift, Papá.”

The next morning, Papá and Quisqueya were waiting at the table!

María gave each a warm smile. “You kept your promise, Papá, thank you!”

Papá laughed. “I have something else for you.” He nodded toward a basket of golden fruit.

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