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An Uninterrupted View of the Sky

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  582 ratings  ·  138 reviews
Modern history unearthed as a boy becomes an innocent victim of corruption in the underbelly of Bolivia's crime world, where the power of family is both a prison and the only means of survival.

It's 1999 in Bolivia and Francisco's life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family's cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arreste
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Philomel Books
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

You know how when you read a book that opens your eyes to something you never knew about, it can come to mean the world to you almost instantly? When it rips your heart open and makes you love the characters, it has even more impact. This is exactly what An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder is for me.

Francisco is a busy teenager in 1999 Bolivia. He is balancing school with his friends and plans for his future. Plans that do
...more
Kassidy
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The way the author describes the main characters feelings throughout this book and the way the main character can keep something such as poetry so close to him throughout the book even through the toughest, darkest times for his family is a miracle. And how ones lifestyle can be from staying in a house with everybody together and so quickly be put in jail is a horrible thought.
Malene
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Devoured in virtually one sitting, an amazing book with some tragic and upsetting elements from life in Bolivia, but full of hope. Utterly beautifully written, and in spite of a bit of "language", suitable for young adults. A must-read.
Meg Wiviott
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gut wrenching yet heart warming story about the unconsidered consequences of the US war on drugs on families in Colombia. Told with honesty and sensitivity.
Vicki
I haven't been so touched by a historical fiction novel in a long, long time. When I began this book about Francisco and his plight, I had to look up what was being said about a law in Bolivia back when this story takes place in 1999. The Bolivian law is known as 1008, and it was implemented in large part due to the United States and the pressure it put on Bolivia to make drug arrests. Evidently, the U.S. was aiding Bolivia financially and threatened economic sanctions on their country if they d ...more
Aidan Lind
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder. Fransisco grows so much as a character and a person throughout the whole book. I could not put it down! This book is a must read for everyone.
Ashley Long
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another book that leaves you wanting to research and find out more about a true event. I loved the character growth in this book and was left wanting to know more about them.
Alicia
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
No one will argue that stories like these are the stories that should be written about but not all books should be on the shelf just because there needs to be more content like it. 1999, Bolivia, war on drugs and penal codes = disaster for Francisco's family after their father's false arrest.

But there was no real character development in that I felt no connection or empathy for Francisco or his family when I really really wanted to. It was about family loyalty and seeking a light at the end of
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Karen
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-2019-msba
Francisco is a typical 17-year-old who only wants to play futbol and dreams of dropping out of school, but when his father is arrested for having coca leaves, he and his sister end up living with Papa in a men’s prison. Francisco’s father is arrested under the Bolivian 1008 drug law which was enacted under pressure from the US as part of the “War on Drugs.” Although indigenous Bolivians chew coca leaves to relax, coca leaves are also used to make cocaine. The harsh 1008 law overwhelmed prisons a ...more
Amy
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of police corruption in Bolivia, as seen through the journey of 17 year old Francisco, will pull at your heartstrings so tightly that you won’t soon forget these characters and their journey.
Lindsey
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was really touching and moving. I even cried a little bit!
Kim
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Holy smokes. This is one powerhouse of a novel.
Caroline Southgate
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down. It was gripping, sad, made me angry - lots of emotions and hard to believe that this story is not fictional.
Kristen
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is so important: it's a story that needs to get told. With lyrical writing and a voice that is real and multi-faceted, An Uninterrupted View of the Sky opens a dialogue about the political, economical, and social situations in Bolivia and the U.S.'s role in all of it--while never losing sight of the people that are affected. This is a human book, and it's masterfully written.
Denise Westlake
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great, great, engaging book. Can't stop thinking about it..
Mr. Armstrong
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My heart hurts.
Samantha Hsu
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donsou
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recently was able to complete this book in December.

This book takes place in 1999 in a crime and government corrupted country of Bolivia. Fransisco lacks off in school, he plays soccer, and in his view, he is living his happy lives. But then his world turns upside down when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison. Seeing that, his mother abandons the family without much thought. Now, Fransisco must he must make a heart-wrenching choice. Fransisco can either stay to take care
...more
Anne
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Francisco lives in Bolivia with his mother, father, and little sister. It's 1999. His dad drives taxi; his mom works in a bank. One day his dad gets (falsely) arrested. Mom abandons the family and so Francisco and Pilar must move into the prison with dad. (Yes, it's a very different system than here in the US). Everything changes for Francisco as he now must protect Pilar at all costs, and he realizes now why his dad says education is so important.
I was fascinated by this story because Francisco
...more
Kirsten
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-8-semester-2
This was a moving, beautiful novel which highlighted the depths and darkness of poverty, and one boy's journey to escape.

Fransico doesn't care about school, or his parents' opinion, for that matter. He can't wait to finish high school and open a shop with his best friend. Then his father is arrested.
Fransico knows his father is innocent, but with no money, no lawyer, and, suddenly, no mother, he has no choice but to move himself and his sister in with his father. His father, who lives in a men
...more
Kirsten
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gr-8-semester-2
This was a moving, beautiful novel which highlighted the depths and darkness of poverty, and one boy's journey to escape.

Fransico doesn't care about school, or his parents' opinion, for that matter. He can't wait to finish high school and open a shop with his best friend. Then his father is arrested.
Fransico knows his father is innocent, but with no money, no lawyer, and, suddenly, no mother, he has no choice but to move himself and his sister in with his father. His father, who lives in a men
...more
The Beauty and Her Reads
It’s the biggest thing prison has taken from me-from us: the idea that there’s something good waiting just around the corner.


This book is based in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 1999. The basic premise of the book was the Law 1008 which was implemented in South America and the havoc it wrecked on the lives of innocent people. Law1008 was aimed at finding and imprisoning people with any connection to coca (a substance from which cocaine is produced), without considering the violat
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Barbara
Seventeen-year-old Francisco has his plans for the future derailed when his father is arrested on false drug charges and sent to prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 1999. When his mother abandons them, Francisco and his little sister, Pilar, must move into the prison to stay with their father. Conditions there are horrendous with little privacy, little space, and inmates must pay for everything that comes their way, even a mattress upon which to sleep. Pilar is at risk from the predators in the pr ...more
C. B. Whitaker
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Seventeen-year-old Francisco can’t decide whether to finish high school or to start a business with his best friend in the lively marketplace of Cochabamba, Bolivia. But his lower-middle class life is turned upside-down when his father is imprisoned by a corrupt and unfair legal system that targets the indigenous population. A domino effect topples his family’s station in life, and gut-wrenching factors force Francisco and his little sister Pilar to move into the prison with their father. The da ...more
Liz Heiden
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Author Melanie Crowder "spent a summer during college volunteering in Cochabamba, Bolivia" working with the “children who lived in the nearby prisons alongside their incarcerated parents.” There she saw “the tragic effects of the 1008 [law] and the United States’ role in both its passage and brutal enforcement” which, unlike her work, was “not fictitious.” This law encouraged the incarceration of anyone suspected of being involved with drug sales. This created an overburdened legal system and ov ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Crowder, Melanie An Uninterrupted View of the Sky, 286 pages. Philomel (Penguin), 2017. Language: PG (14 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (possibility of rape avoided); Violence: PG-13 (beatings, fights).

Francisco, 17, and his family lead a poor, but loving life in a poor part of a Bolivian city. They’ve worked hard to keep their noses clean, but under a tough new law passed to appease the Americans desire to catch drug lords and runners, Francisco’s father is arrested, his cab is impounded, a
...more
Lesley
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When we read historical fiction or fiction based on fact, we don’t just learn about events, we experience events from the perspective of people—real or fictional—who lived through it and bear witness to the impact those events had on people. When I read Melanie Crowder’s Audacity, I not only learned the story of Clara Lemlich, but I experienced the trials of the factory workers in NYC’s garment district and the obstacles Clara surmounted as she fought to organize the women to fight for their rig ...more
Hannah Gookstetter
An Uninterrupted View of the Sky is a beautiful novel about the trickling down of the War on Drugs taking place on the United States-Mexico border. In Bolivia in 1999, seventeen-year-old Francisco's father is arrested on false drug charges and is thrown in prison. When Francisco, his sister -- Pilar --, and their mother go and visit their father in prison, Francisco's mother abandons them, leaving them to live in the prison with their father. Francisco is now on a quest to get his father out of ...more
Lupita
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An incredible subtle book that wraps around your heart. Once you start you can't stop reading this book. Which is part adventure, and part poetry book. Although it's a novel, it feels like a documentary film unfolding the horrors of children forced to take on the challenge of living in a country that discards its citizens due to discrimination, poverty, politics and drugs.

Francisco is a teen who loves football and has no plans for college, understanding that his opportunities will be limited due
...more
Paula
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How is there so much I've never heard about in our world's history? I am fascinated by the people and places that I know so little about-especially the indigenous people who are often unfairly marginalized. Melanie Crowder's novel is set in Bolivia in 1999. Francisco lives with his sister, Pilar and his parents. He's in his final year of school and has little ambition. Then his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison, his mother realizes she cannot support the family alone, so aba ...more
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Melanie Crowder graduated in 2011 with an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of THREE PENNIES, AN UNINTERRUPTED VIEW OF THE SKY, A NEARER MOON, AUDACITY, PARCHED, and THE LIGHTHOUSE BETWEEN THE WORLDS and A WAY BETWEEN WORLDS.

A West Coast girl at heart, Melanie now lives and writes in the beautiful state of Colorado.

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