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Panama is labeled as a young adult novel. Essentially, this novel is a bodice ripper aimed at pre-teens and teens. It is highly inappropriate for the young adult, audience in my opinion. While the novel is not graphic, it is far too sensual for young ide from the moral issues, the novel is just ok. The main hero is a teenager from Dayton, Ohio who is transplanted by her parents to the Panama Canal Location after her father accepts a position with the Panama Canal Commission to build the canal. While in Panama the narrator enters into an illicit, passionate affair with a Spanish exile working as a laborer. The narrator is completely selfish, scheming and spoiled. She is very unlikeable, reminding me of Amber St. Clair in Forever ever, unlike Forever Amber, Hiatt does not make a realistic sense of place, using anachronistic phrases like "Main Road U.S.A.," "breaking out," teenage angst, among others. Her Spanish is also poor - I hope some of the errors have been corrected in the final ver of this book (I read a proof).On the positive side, the story of the construction of the Canal was very interesting. However, I had a hard time getting past the anachronisms and the fact that this bodice-ripper was intended for young girls.
This book is basically trash. Only thing amazing about it is that it is short. As another reviewer has written it is just a bodice ripper... and I don't think that needs to be marketed for teenagers. The deception and the lies in the book were deeply disturbing. If you are going to write something like this for this age group then you need to be really clear about what type of book it is so that people know before they buy. I didn't like any of the characters in the book, thought the storyline was very weak, and with the book being completely devoid of any morality I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Don't waste your money.
A fifteen-year-old girl living in Ohio in the early twentieth century is excited when she learns her family will move to Panama, where her father will have a job helping to build the Panama Canal. She hopes for an exotic and exciting adventure, but is disappointed when she finds that her fresh home is the Zone, which the Americans have created into a city just like those back home.While visiting a building website for the canal, she meets the intriguing Federico, a young man who seems far too cultured to be an ordinary canal worker. He is sophisticated and loves books - just what she has been looking for. She begins a love affair with him which transitions her from childhood to adulthood, although in the end she finds herself more emotionally invested and heartbroken then she intended.I was intrigued by the description of this book because I had never read a book about the building of the Panama Canal and I am always on the lookout for unusual historical fiction. But ultimately I was rather disappointed by this book. There were some historical errors, and I was rather unsettled by the relationship between the fifteen-year-old narrator and the much older Federico. Also, and this is more of a private pet peeve, I was really annoyed that the narrator's name is never revealed. Overall I wouldn't highly recommend this book, although it might have some appeal to readers particularly interested in the historical setting.
Panama is a very fast read. It has such potential!! I wanted to know more about these wonderful surroundings the heroine found herself in. Descriptions and hero development are both lacking. I didn't know why I should root for this girl. The author does a amazing job of expressiong the girls angst, but fails to develop the hero further. The story just kind of fell flat at the end and was rather disappointing. It had such potential as a r parents: the book is about a affair with a much older man. By the end, I had the notice of the story: have as much wild fun as you can, because then you will grow up, live an average life, have children and then spend your time looking back. What a negative message!
Unfortunately when this book was listed for 14 to 17 year olds I started to read it through the eyes of the middle school children my wife teaches history to. My wife and I are avid readers of historic fiction and the idea of a kid living in the canal location during construction sounded like it would have amazing insights. However I was place off by what turned out to be kind of a smutty tale of a 17 year old girl hiding an affair with an older man. I'm not a book banning type, but the story line does not seem appropriate for 14 year olds, maybe it's target juvenile audience should be moved up a few years.Otherwise the book did deliver on painting a picture of the construction conditions in the canal zone. There is a amazing sense of the complexity, difficulties, and grandeur of the project. The plight of the common workers is well handled and much of the historical background is credible and illustrative of the time. However, there were a few too a lot of historical coincidences. The main hero goes from living next door to the Wright brothers in Ohio, to the jungles of Panama where she meets the childhood mate of a Spanish prince. It borders on too much, and hurts the credibility a bit.Otherwise the only thing that kind of stuck out was a shallowness in the main character. She rails versus girls who care only for boys, then gets involved in a steamy relationship with an older man who beautiful much tells her what her political views should be. Sadly this is probably beautiful authentic, but it would have been nice to have a story where the main hero forms her own convictions from her own observations and is an OK book, but will not be added to our library. I do have to warn parents who are looking for a historic fiction books for children on the lower end of its age range, it does have mature themes.
Allow me begin by saying I'm not a prude; I'm an open-minded librarian. However, there were parts of this book that created me cringe. This book reads more like a romance paperback than a young adult title. It starts slow and is hard to read even before the `romance' part of the book. The background stories were more interesting than the main story line.I liked the author's portrayal of the main character's excitement and disappointment when she arrived in Panama. The author did not scrimp on info of the conditions of the workers and their living quarters, which was one of Panama's best parts. The turmoil that takes put in that setting is shown realistically through the eyes of a teen. Having the Wright brothers as neighbors was a nice twist. However, the flood and earthquake seemed thrown in to lengthen the book, unless the author was trying to contain actual happenings that occurred in those locations at that e plot jumped around quite a bit, especially toward the end. The book mentioned that one of the Wright brothers was dead while the main hero is home, but doesn't mention how or why he died. As close as the main hero was to the Wright brothers, there should have been some mention of the incident. The author did a amazing job of capturing the excitement of the people as the Canal was finally completed. I liked that natives were the first to use the canal. I also liked how she ended the book, with the entry in the Diary. I believe this is a 2 star book, at best. If it was marketed toward an older audience, I would probably give it a small better rating, but as is, I didn't care for this book very much at all. The author should write for some other audience instead of teens.
This book held such promise, and I was so looking forward to reading it. In the end, though, I would not recommend this to teen readers. Maybe it would have worked better as an adult book, with the narrator thinking back to her teen years?That said, a 15-year-old girl from Ohio moves with her family to Panama because her dad is overseeing the work on the building of the canal. Coming from a sense of suburbia, she is young and hoping for an adventure and authentic cultural experiences, but instead we never obtain to read about said experiences because she sees a man in his mid-20s with a bookshelf full of books and we create the leap of faith that he is r a girl looking for authentic experiences, the bookshelf (and its owner) reminds her of the adventurers she knew back home (the Wright Brothers, of all people). She starts a relationship with Francisco by bringing him more books. In turn, the education he gives her is inappropriate and kind of creepy. This did not create me feel like a carefree teenager with wild abandon on my mind, and I don't think it strikes a chord with fresh love or first e majority of the book was about their love affair...and I didn't feel it was appropriate for the age it was ere was some things that created me wonder about the accuracy of the historical data, especially pertaining to the phone lines and communication between Panama and the ain, this book may have had more strength had it been written for the adult market, with the narrator thinking back to her "firsts."
This is a dynamic travelogue revealing much about Ecuador and its people as well as a study in global economics from the making of the Panama Hat. As a shaggy hat body from the Andes for $.65, it would become part of mainstream American commerce at a wholesale cost of $18.75. The author’s travels reveal both the history of the making of the hats as well as the process they use to produce them. From “Straw Hats—Their History and Manufacture,” by Harry Inwards, London, 1922: “Claims are created that in the Province of Manabi, a native named Francisco Delgado first created a Panama hat about 300 years en he goes on to reveal that “making of`` grass fiber hats in the Western Hemisphere was…of the most remote antiquity.” I first traveled through Ecuador in the late 1970s, new out of Peace Corps Guatemala and returned with different donor groups over a twenty-year period. I found Miller’s journey revealing and informative, as well as relaxing. I also appreciated his dry wit as well as the obvious empathy for the people he encountered along the ose of us who have backpacked through Latin America could only chuckle at Miller’s checklist prior to boarding one of the local buses:1. Look at the sible threads on the tires means a blowout is imminent.”2. Does the bus have at least one windshield wiper?3. You can’t check the bus for brakes. Once I asked a driver in Guatemala about the brakes on his bus. “Look,” he said, “the bus is stopped isn’t it?”One chapter provides insights into some of the historic nuances of the country. “When you mention Guayaquil, the people of Quito snicker. Monos, monkeys, live there. Uncouth sacrilegious, lazy, no modesty or commitment to family or God. They lack ambition, culture, and spirituality….Quito and Guayaquil have so small in common they appear as if on various planets…”During his trek, the author makes some interesting side trips, including a trip into the jungle zone in find of the impact of the growing oil industry, which is dominated by foreign corporations. He quotes the French sociologist, Claude Levi Strauss, who observed, “A continent barely touched by man lay exposed to men whose greed could no longer be happy by their own continent.” The Ecuadorian native Indians who live in the central highlands of the Andes create most of the hats, but according to the author, are at the bottom of the “social heap,” planting corn, harvesting potatoes.A story within a story emerges when the author veered from his Panama hat trail to check out the border to the north with Colombia. He came across several towns in this relatively isolated part of the country that reflected a fresh level of prosperity due at least partially to an “overflow from some of the world’s most productive coca cultivation and processing operations nearby.” In one raid in 1984 northeast of Puerto Colon, almost fourteen dozens of cocaine were discovered! According to Miller, “The sleepy stretch of the San Miguel between the two countries, so friendly and simple to travel, turned out to be one of South America’s major drug highways.”Like a lot of “Travel” authors, Miller provides some insights into the countries they pass through. He identified a “loss of national identify” not limited to tourist literature or straw hats and refers to the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, when ABC anchorman Peter Jennings briefly praised each country as its standard-bearer entered the Memorial Coliseum. When Ecuador’s flag came on, he summed up this lack of identity with, “The conquistadores stopped in Ecuador. They didn’t search enough riches, so they moved on.”He also highlights Moritz Thomsen, author of the “best English-language books about Ecuadorans coping with life at the bottom,” entitled, “Living Poor.” He went on to say that Moritz would agree with Robert Byron in defending traveling writers whose books insult their hosts: “Somebody must trespass on the taboos of modern nationalism, in the interest of human reason. Business can’t. Diplomacy won’t. It has to be people like us.” Miller ended this pithy segment of his book with, “To me, Ecuador had been a country with its head in the clouds, its heart on its sleeve, and it’s growing to the ground.”I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the author, and learned where our paths exploring the magical country of Ecuador had crossed over the years. I also became aware of, and recommend, his acclaimed adventure books including this one, as well as “On the Border” about his travels along the U.S.-Mexico border; “Trading with the Enemy,” which takes put in his favorite country, Cuba, and “Revenge of the Saguaro,” which takes put in the American ler has appeared in The Fresh Yorker, LIFE, The Fresh York Times, Natural History, and a lot of other publications. He wrote the introduction to Best Travel Writing – 2005, and has led educational tours through Cuba for the National Geographic Society and other organizations. I’d agree with the National Geographic Traveler that this book is “among the best travel books ever written.”
If you're interested in Ecuador this is a "must read" book. I really enjoyed the book. I like hats, too, but the book is even better for its Ecuadorian history and culture. A well written book of Ecuador, its culture and history. He writes in a nice and simple style. I was disappointed in Ecuador to see very few men wearing this hat and the book explains the history behind their aversion.
I got this application to help with learning German. It would be so much better if after each small section of text you could switch from German to English to see the translation. As it is, it has to go back to globe, then switch languages, then go back into the section and then skip forward to the right bit of text, by which time I've forgotten what the German phrase was!
Part travel log part Panama hat history, this book was a blast to read.Learned so much about the method straw fedoras/Panama’s are made, that they come from Ecuador not Panama and just how handcrafted they are by generations of artisans ve me a whole fresh appreciation for why straw hats cost what they do and a fresh dimension of admiration for them.
Twelve of the cuts are cojuntos from the Interior, playing very danceable cumbias Two are a combo with a more urban sound. While four are calypsos from Colon. The only reason I gave it only four stars was sound quality. The 45's were well worn, with no attempt created to clean them up.
.Really satisfied with this guidebook -- of course won't be positive until after our visit. Our objective is a birding tour, and we have other tutorials for that, but wanted info on other tourist opportunities for before and after our tour. Also wanted history and social information which this provides. I recommend it.
That Panama Hat is not from Panama! I am heading to Ecuador this summer and this book really helped set the scene for my trip. It is a well-written, insightful look at Ecuadoran culture from the viewpoint of the Panama hat development and production. But this is far more than about hats. Its about the indigenous peoples, the pride of craftmanship, the risk of losing individual artisans to mass production, the impact of the multinational corporations on local cultures and some of the internal conflicts within Ecuadoran society. Lest this should sound like a potential dull read it is not! Quite to the contrary, it is lively and engaging in the skilled hands of Tom Miller.. in fact I will probably read it again before my trip.
Panama Hat was highly recommended for those traveling to Ecuador & it does give you the flavour of another time there. Miller liked what he was doing & he coveys it in effortless prose. The happenings took put in the 80s & I suspect this is a long ago globe at this point. However, the traffic to macchu Picchu & the Galapagos is right there. So it's an interesting, well written history of the region, with well chosen quotes from various historical travelers & history far, as I am not finished reading it yet, it is an easy, comfortable read which I recommend with no reservations. & I'd like to end up with a collection of Panama hats, as Miller apparently has.
I very much enjoyed this book as a lead-up to my visit to the home of the Panama Hat, which as you should know is...Ecuador! Although the book was written a number of years ago, the info about the hats, the country and the people appears to remain accurate. Mr. Miller's style and the info he contains kept me engaged all the method through (and created me, I'd like to think, a more knowledgeable visitor and hat buyer!)
This is your guidebook to obtain for visiting Panama. We just used it for travel across country and found it very accurate and detailed with maps and thorough coverage of highlights and things to know. It was a constant reference source. Thanks for writing such a helpful book, and to those who gave it a positive review.
This was my second trip to Panama and the Panama Moon tutorial book was great! I had the older Moon Panama book but I wanted an up to date ver and this one did not dissapoint. Everything was very accurate the only things I noticed that changed were the bus and taxi fares which were higher now due to rising fuel cost. I would highly recommend this book!
No song struck me as particularly a favorite, but I liked the CD well enough in general. There are some beautiful songs, and the style is fun. The vocals are beautiful (male harmonization), the instruments are ere are 12 tracks -- the sound quality isn't very good, might test it out if you like globe and Spanish (salsa mamba) music.
"The Panama Canal"  by Frederick J. Haskin was written about a year prior to the opening of the Panama Canal (August 15, 1914) and is a very detailed, contemporary acc of this historic undertaking. Perfect pictures of the construction site, equipment, plans, and key players associated with the canal's development, Haskin's well-written work emphasizes the actual building of the canal, though it is perhaps a small light on the politics and international intrigue surrounding this globe altering happening when compared to McCullough's, "The Path Between the Seas," but a highly satisfying experience for any history buff nonetheless. Read them both.