My Sweet Orange Tree
author: José Mauro de Vasconcelos
When the precocious Zeze grows up, he wants to be a poet in a bow tie. But for now he entertains himself playing clever pranks on the residents of his Rio de Janeiro shantytown, stunts for which his parents and siblings punish him soundly. Now that his father is out of work, the beatings have become harsher, and life has gotten bleaker. Zeze’s only solace comes from his time at school, his hours secretly spent singing with a Bahian street musician, or his time of refuge with his magical orange tree, which both listens and offers him sage advice. But finally, Zeze meets a real friend and his life begins to change — opening him up to both human tenderness and wrenching sorrow. Never out of print in Brazil since it was first published in 1968, My Sweet Orange Tree, inspired by the author’s own childhood, has been translated into many languages and has won the hearts of millions of young readers across the globe.
Fifty years after its first publication, the multimillion-copy international bestseller is available again in English, sharing the heartbreaking tale of a gifted, mischievous, direly misunderstood boy growing up in Rio de Janeiro.