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A Cafecito Story [Paperback]

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Item Number 260542  
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Item description for A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez...

A Cafecito Story is a story of love, coffee, birds and hope. It is a beautifully written eco-fable by best-selling author Julia Alvarez. Based on her and her husband's experiences trying to reclaim a small coffee farm in her native Dominican Republic, A Cafecito Story shows how the return to the traditional methods of shade-grown coffee can rehabilitate and rejuvenate the landscape and human culture, while at the same time preserving vital winter habitat for threatened songbirds.
Not a political or environmental polemic, A Cafecito Story is instead a poetic, modern fable about human beings at their best. The challenge of producing coffee is a remarkable test of our ability to live more sustainably, caring for the land, growers, and consumers in an enlightened and just way. Written with Julia Alvarez's deft touch, this is a story that stimulates while it comforts, waking the mind and warming the soul like the first cup of morning coffee. Indeed, this story is best read with a strong cup of organic, shade-grown, fresh-brewed coffee.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   72
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.24"
Weight:   0.37 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2004
Publisher   Chelsea Green
ISBN  1931498547  
ISBN13  9781931498548  

Availability  0 units.

More About Julia Alvarez

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Julia Alvarezis the author of the novelsHow the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies(a national Book Critics Circle Award finalist), andYo!. She has also published two poetry collections (HomecomingandThe Other side/El Otro Lado) and a collection of essays (Something to Declare).
Julia Alvarezes la autora deDe como las chicas Garcia perdieron el acento, En el tiempo de las mariposas(un finalista del National Book Critics Circle Award) y Yo!.Tambien ha publicado dos colecciones de poesia y una coleccion de ensayos. Julia Alvarez vive en Vermont y en Republica Dominicana, donde dirige una cooperativa de cafe organico, y un centro de alfabetizacion y arte con su esposo.


Julia Alvarez currently resides in Middlebury, in the state of Vermont.

Julia Alvarez has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Laurel-Leaf Books Readers Circle
  2. Shannon Ravenel Books (Hardcover)
  3. Tia Lola Stories

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga

Reviews - What do customers think about A Cafecito Story?

This is a novel?  Aug 18, 2008
I guess I really don't get this book. It was meant to be a "go green" story about how coffee is and should be produced. That part I get. But the writing seemed simplistic and offers no insight whatsoever into the characters. It is simply a Dick and Jane book. Now I have read another book by Alvarez and enjoyed it immensely and I realize this simple style is what the author intended. But the language is not creative in any way and just seems cobbled together to lead to info at the end about the plight of Dominican campesinos and merchandise info at the end that sell the organic brand of coffee beans the cooperative owned by Alvarez and her husband. The story in and of itself is not literature in any way. had alvarez used her considerable literay skills to craft a 300 page novel on this topic with character depth and advanced plot, I would have loved it.
One of Those Amazing Little Book Finds Discovered Unexpectedly Between Two Behemoth Titles on the Shelf  May 20, 2007
While perusing an independent bookstore in Pasadena, CA, I discovered *A Cafecito Story* in between two giant tomes of little interest; but somehow, this slime volume caught my eye and then my interest as I read the back cover and flipped through the book to see the wonderful woodcuts by Belkis Ramírez.

This is the simple story of Joe, the son of a farmer in Nebraska. Disaffected by the direction of farming as the corporations buy up family farms - including his families when his father is forced to sell a large part of the land to pay the bills - and the ruin this brings to the local economies, Joe decides farming is not for him. He moves to the city, marries a city girl, becomes a teacher, divorces the city girl, and at 40 finds himself near burnout and realizing that he can't even enjoy a cup of coffee. So, he decides to take a vacation.

His travels and budget land him at a resort in the Dominican Republic; but, soon he is bored with sitting by the pool and the sterility of resort protected behind walls and guards from the population of the land. At the recommendation of one of the resort's employees, Joe visits the mountains and the coffee farm of the employee's relative. Here is where Joe's life changes forever.

This semi-autobiographical novella by Julia Alvarez (writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and who was born in the Domincan Republic) is a metaphor for the discovery that the author and her husband made while visiting the place of her birth. It is also the story of how people can change the way things are done for the better and in the course of it all begin to change the world. If you are familiar with the concept of Fair Trade in the world of coffee and chocolate and the like, you will really enjoy this look at some of the movement's roots - if you aren't familiar, this book will open your eyes.


A Guide to my Book Rating System:

1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.
A Cafecito Story  Jan 10, 2007
Delightful, charming story, based on a true, organic, working coffee farm in the Dominican Republic. Illustrations are delightful and enhance the story and the imagination!
A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez  Jan 10, 2007
Beautifully written & illustrated! A little disappointment: I bought this as a gift and there was a small knife slit in the paper cover. I taped it over & hoped my daughter won't notice. Please, be more careful in handling. Thank you. Kathryn Russell
Coffee and love   Dec 8, 2005
This short work, is the story of coffee, "a social beverage that bridges nations and unites people in trade, in words, in birds, and in love . . . through the eyes of Joe, a man with farming in his blood but an increasing sense of dislacement from the natural world."

Joe is the son of Nebraska farmers. He loves to farm, the small farms go under, and he winds up teaching, though he still yearns for a connection with nature. Then, he takes a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Escaping the gated resort where he is staying, he goes into the mountains and discovers coffee and the coffee growers. They, too, are threatened by agribusiness, companies that spray the coffee with veneno (poison).

Joe buys a parcel of land, and, with another grower, forms a cooperative. Others join them. But they do more than grow coffee the "old-fashioned" way. They promote literacy, and sustainability.

There is also a love story here, not, they are careful to say, the story of Alvarez and her husband, but I think there is something of them in Joe and "the woman behind the counter".

There is an afterword by Bill Eichner about their coffee farm, as well as a list of resources.

The woodcuts by Dominican artist Belkis Ramírez are wonderful. I especially like the one of "the woman behind the counter", as she sits with the steam from the coffee rising, and her hair, flowing out and upwards, has visions of a coffee farm in its curls.


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