Goodreads ratings
3.69 / 5

"Colibri" Summary

By Ann Cameron

young adult | 256 pages | Published in NaN

When Tzunún was little, her mother nicknamed her Colibrí, Spanish for “hummingbird.” At age four, Colibrí is kidnapped from her parents in Guatemala City and ever since she’s traveled with Uncle, the ex-soldier and wandering beggar, who renamed her Rosa. Uncle told Rosa that he looked for her parents, but never found them.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young boy named Colibri embarks on a dangerous journey across Guatemala to find his missing mother.


"Colibri" is a captivating young adult novel written by Ann Cameron. Set in the beautiful country of Guatemala, this book takes readers on an emotional journey of self-discovery, resilience, and the power of friendship. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Colibri, readers are immersed in the vibrant culture and rich traditions of the Mayan people. With its compelling storyline and well-developed characters, "Colibri" is a must-read for anyone seeking a heartwarming and thought-provoking literary experience.

Brief Synopsis

"Colibri" tells the story of a young Mayan girl named Colibri who lives in a small village in Guatemala. The book opens with Colibri's father being unjustly imprisoned, leaving her family in a state of despair and poverty. Determined to free her father and bring justice to her community, Colibri embarks on a courageous journey filled with both physical and emotional challenges.

Set against the backdrop of the Guatemalan civil war, the novel explores the themes of injustice, oppression, and the resilience of the human spirit. Colibri's quest for justice becomes intertwined with the larger struggle for freedom and equality in her country.

Main Characters

Here are the main characters in "Colibri" and a brief description of each:

ColibriThe young Mayan girl who is the protagonist of the story. She is brave, determined, and resourceful.
MagdalenaColibri's grandmother, who is wise and supportive. She plays a crucial role in guiding Colibri on her journey.
ManuelitoA young boy from Colibri's village who becomes her close friend and ally. He helps her navigate the challenges they face together.
Don ArturoThe corrupt landowner who is responsible for Colibri's father's imprisonment. He symbolizes the oppression faced by the Mayan people.

Summary of Story Points

Chapters 1-5:

Colibri's peaceful life in her village is disrupted when her father is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Determined to prove his innocence, Colibri sets off on a journey to the city, where she hopes to find help and justice. Along the way, she encounters various obstacles, including dangerous terrain and encounters with suspicious individuals.

Chapters 6-10:

In the city, Colibri meets Manuelito, a street child who becomes her companion. Together, they navigate the bustling streets, searching for a lawyer who can help them free Colibri's father. They face numerous challenges, including a run-in with Don Arturo, who tries to intimidate them into giving up their quest.

Chapters 11-15:

Colibri and Manuelito find a lawyer willing to take on their case, but they soon discover that justice comes at a high price. They engage in fundraising efforts, organizing a community event to gather support and funds. Their determination inspires others, and they start to gain momentum in their fight for justice.

Chapters 16-20:

As Colibri and Manuelito continue their journey, they uncover evidence that could prove Colibri's father's innocence. However, their actions have caught the attention of Don Arturo, who is determined to stop them at all costs. They face danger and betrayal but remain resilient in their pursuit of justice.

Chapters 21-25:

In a climactic confrontation, Colibri and Manuelito confront Don Arturo and expose his corruption to the authorities. With the truth revealed, Colibri's father is finally released from prison. The community celebrates their victory, and Colibri's journey comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Main Events

  • Colibri's father is unjustly imprisoned.
  • Colibri embarks on a journey to the city to seek justice.
  • Colibri meets Manuelito, who becomes her ally.
  • They face various challenges and dangers on their journey.
  • They find a lawyer and organize a community event to raise funds.
  • Colibri and Manuelito uncover evidence that could prove her father's innocence.
  • They confront Don Arturo and expose his corruption.
  • Colibri's father is released from prison, and justice is served.

Themes and Insights

"Colibri" explores several important themes and offers insightful perspectives on the following:

  1. Injustice and Oppression: The novel sheds light on the unjust treatment of marginalized communities and the power dynamics that perpetuate oppression. It highlights the importance of standing up against injustice and fighting for equality.
  2. Resilience and Determination: Colibri's journey demonstrates the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she remains determined to seek justice and free her father.
  3. Friendship and Support: The bond between Colibri and Manuelito serves as a powerful reminder of the strength found in friendship and the support that can be gained from those who share a common goal.
  4. Cultural Identity: Through its vivid descriptions of Mayan culture and traditions, the book celebrates the importance of cultural identity and the preservation of heritage.

Reader's Takeaway

"Colibri" is a captivating and inspiring novel that will resonate with readers of all ages. It serves as a reminder of the power of resilience, the importance of fighting for justice, and the strength found in friendship. Ann Cameron's beautiful storytelling and well-drawn characters make "Colibri" a truly memorable reading experience.


"Colibri" is a powerful and beautifully written novel that takes readers on an emotional journey through the eyes of a young Mayan girl. Ann Cameron's storytelling prowess and vivid descriptions transport readers to the heart of Guatemala, immersing them in a world of injustice, resilience, and the enduring power of friendship. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking a thought-provoking and heartwarming literary experience.

Colibri FAQ

  1. Who is the author of Colibri?

    The author of Colibri is Ann Cameron.

  2. What is Colibri about?

    Colibri is a book about a young boy named Colibri who lives in a small village in Guatemala. He is determined to learn to read and write despite the challenges he faces.

  3. Is Colibri suitable for children?

    Yes, Colibri is a children's book and is suitable for young readers.

  4. What age group is Colibri recommended for?

    Colibri is recommended for children aged 8-12 years old.

  5. Is Colibri based on a true story?

    No, Colibri is a work of fiction and is not based on a true story.

  6. Are there any illustrations in Colibri?

    Yes, Colibri contains illustrations by Nancy Carpenter.

  7. Where can I purchase a copy of Colibri?

    You can purchase a copy of Colibri from online book retailers such as Amazon or from your local bookstore.

  8. Is there a sequel to Colibri?

    No, Colibri is a standalone book and does not have a sequel.

  9. What themes are explored in Colibri?

    Colibri explores themes of determination, education, overcoming challenges, and the importance of literacy.

  10. Is Colibri available in other languages?

    Yes, Colibri has been translated into multiple languages, including Spanish.