Captain of the Sands
by Jorge Amado
What happens when the weather on Memorial Day weekend isn’t very good? Time to read more #RAFavBooks – one each of the past six days! There are three more days in May, so we will see if it continues! This time a young-adults book written by a Brazilian author, Jorge Amado, called Captains of the Sands. The book explores a young group of homeless / orphaned kids, aged seven to thirteen, living on the streets of Bahia Brazil. The ‘gang’ go by the name Captain of the Sands and are aptly led by Pedro Bala to steal, gamble, and beg, always barely escaping the city police. Each chapter features one of the boys and their individual stories, from falling in love, to coming down with smallpox, to deciding to join the priesthood under the leadership of Father Jose Pedro (who befriended the boys). Later in the book, Pedro falls in love with Dora, also an orphan youth, who is captured by the police during a raid on the boys. Pedro is jailed while Dora is placed in a reformatory and slowly becomes ill while the two are separated. Pedro escapes but not in time to save Dora. The chapters conclude with the group growing apart and moving in their various directions in life. A great series of stories capturing the tales of delinquent youth who rely upon each other to make it when their lives would otherwise be nothing but despair.