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An Uninterrupted View of the Sky

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  87 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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Philomel Books
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4.31  · 
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 ·  372 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was really touching and moving. I even cried a little bit!
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.
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
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
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 violation of citizen’s r
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
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
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
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
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
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
When his father is arrested on false drug charges and his mother abandons him and his sister Pilar, Francisco’s life goes from school and soccer to a prison. Within the prison walls, they struggle to find a safe place as Francisco’s father pushes him to leave, take Pilar, and go to the hills of Bolivia to live with Francisco’s grandparents. But Francisco would rather the family stay intact and he fears that a move to the country will forever stifle his life.

Sometimes reading helps you to escape.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was an eye-opener. I had no idea about Bolivian prisons, the 1008 law, or the incarceration of children alongside their parents. It reminded me of the unfairness and shortsightedness of Victorian debtor's prisons, taking away an opportunity to thrive from children being punished for their parents' mistakes. Although this is somehow worse because the MC's father is innocent. When his mother walks out on them, Francisco is torn in several directions trying to run his own life, protect hi ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
17 year old Francisco lives with his father, mother, and 8 year old sister in a small town in Bolivia. His life is filled with school, soccer, and plans for opening a shop with his friend. When his father, a taxi driver, is arrested and thrown into prison by a corrupt system that exploits the poor and Indian minorities (Aymara & Quechua), Francisco's family is thrown into turmoil. Unable to keep paying rent without their father's income, Francisco and his sister must move into the prison wit ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm floating between 4.5 and 5 stars on this one, but I think it's worth rounding up.

I adored Melanie Crowder's Audacity, so when I got this at the library, I figured I'd pick it up without even reading the synopsis. Knowing that it was historical fiction and seeing the barbed wire on the cover, I assumed it was about WWII. It's definitely not, but that's perfectly fine.

The look into how the prison system worked in 1999 Bolivia was FASCINATING and something I knew absolutely nothing about. After
Martha Schwalbe
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
While reading this book I met three students from Bolivia so felt a connection to the story although I don't think there's a connection.
I had no idea children lived in prisons with their parents; I saw an article about children living with their mothers in prisons in the US. I guess it does occasionally happen.
I really enjoyed the mix of poetry in the text and the way the father's poetry was lost and found by the son. I would like to meet the little sister who brings back little bits of this and
Pat Jennings
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a challenge from my local library, I am reading 50 books from 50 different countries this year. This book is my 42nd and takes place in Bolivia, probably the poorest country with the most indigenous people. This story is about an outrageous law 1008 which encourages anyone expected of drug trafficking to be imprisoned without any form of trial, proof, or reparations. For many, the family is also imprisoned or choose homelessness. I could just cry for the children of this world after learning ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I would give this book ten stars if I could. Melanie Crowder takes us to a world most of us have never even known existed: the world of two children who live within the walls of a Bolivian prison where their father is incarcerated - with little or no hope of release - as a completely innocent victim of the relentless US war on drugs. Francisco's love for his father, his sister, and another teen locked behind the prison walls makes for a wrenching, heart-rending, but ultimately hopeful story. And ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Learned a lot about recent Bolivian history that I previously knew nothing about. The character development that Francisco undergoes while his father is in prison is incredible to watch -fighting to keep his sister safe and to keep her young while trying to keep his father the same way he was before he was imprisoned. Seeing this seventeen year old kid change his viewpoint on himself and work for his future when before he saw himself as the rest of society saw him just shows how much Francisco d ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Set in Bolivia where indigenous people have few to no rights in the justice system, this is the story of a boy whose father is arrested, his mother abandons them, and now he and his sister have to live in the prison with the father who is too poor to afford a lawyer.

This book has heart. It is deeply moving and life-affirming.

Melanie Crowder has now established herself as one of my favorite YA authors, after reading this book and her other masterpiece, Audacity.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. I sat down thinking I was only going to read a few chapters and then move on to my other reading assignments. Nope, that's not what happened at all. I sat down, started reading, and ended up finishing the book in one sitting. It was just that good. I highly recommend reading this well-written diverse read.
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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, and PARCHED.

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