I Am a Taxi

I Am a Taxi

by Deborah Ellis


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For twelve-year-old Diego and his family, home is the San Sebastian Women’s Prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His parents farmed coca, a traditional Bolivian medicinal plant, until they got caught in the middle of the government’s war on drugs. Diego’s adjusted to his new life. His parents are locked up, but he can come and go: to school, to the market to sell his mother’s hand-knitted goods, and to work as a “taxi," running errands for other prisoners. But then his little sister runs away, earning his mother a heavy fine. The debt and dawning realization of his hopeless situation make him vulnerable to his friend Mando’s plan to make big money, fast. Soon, Diego is deep in the jungle, working as a virtual slave in an illegal cocaine operation. As his situation becomes more and more dangerous, he knows he must take a terrible risk if he ever wants to see his family again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780888997364
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication date: 02/28/2008
Series: Cocalero Novels
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 608,321
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x (d)
Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

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I Am a Taxi 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
jadac More than 1 year ago
I am a taxi is about a boy named Diego. His parents were put in prison for something neither of them did. Since both parents are in prison, he must live with them. When he loses his job as a taxi, running errands for women in prison, he gets dragged into a plan by his friend Mango to get tons of money! He soon learns they were hired to make cocoa past, to make cocaine. They realize that they are not going to get paid. Soon after the death of Mango, he must face the problems himself. If you like action this is the perfect book for you. I give this book four stars. It s a good book, but at times isn't clear what is happening.
JackieHancox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Canadian author Deborah Ellis has come up with another gritty and graphic novel to educate children about the exploitation of their peers in other parts of the world. The unfamiliar setting and experiences of Diego, a 12 year old boy, may challenge readers to broaden their horizons, but the storyline is extremeley engaging with non-stop action and a very likeable main character. I couldn`t wait to read the next book in the series!
allison.sivak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, in a voice I felt was well-developed, which carried a story that was heart-breakingly told. Sometimes YA novels wrap up too neatly; I'm not sure that authors do this because they have a page count they can't go beyond, or if they fear not having some kind of reasonably happy ending. Oddly enough, I find this when authors are writing about marginalized characters, which has the unfortunate end result of feeling like a tokenistic approach. Ellis is writing this as the first in a trilogy, which gave the story room to breathe. And the ending did read realistically; I need to read the next two.
BooksByLinda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
South America - BoliviaDiego goes between his mother and father, both in prison. They were falsely accused and their sentence in 16 years.Diego is free to come and go from the prison and he goes to a good school and always does his homework, and that of other wealthy boys who pay him to do their homework. He also runs errands for prison inmates and others which makes him "a taxi." He earns money to buy food and rent for their tiny cell. His best friend, Mando, proposes a plan to make a lot of money, very quickly. Should Diego take and chance and do it??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ianbianboy More than 1 year ago
I Am a Taxi is a well written realistic-fiction young adult novel. It’s about a boy named Diego who is in need of money. His parents got framed for something they didn’t do. He and his sister lived with their mom in prison but could come and go. He and his sister lived with their mom in prison He was supposed to watch after his little sister but instead did homework and lost track of her. He lost his job as a taxi because he lost track of his sister. A taxi is a person who runs errands for people in the prison. Diego’s friend Mando offered him a job in the jungle, he didn’t want to go at first, but he was desperate for a job. They both decided to stomp coca paste. Soon things got bad. They weren’t getting paid, and they were working the hardest. They had a risky plan, but it backfired on them. They got caught and Deigo was stuck there. I give it 5 stars because I understood the story and I saw the realistic fiction.It had great word chose but, the writing wasn’t always the greatest.
RavenD17 More than 1 year ago
I Am a Taxi is about a boy named Diego who lives in prison with his mother and sister. Diego’s job is to be a taxi. He does jobs for people and gets paid bolivianos. One day he loses his little sister, and he couldn’t find her. In the end, his sister was found, but his mother had to pay a fine. He goes with his friend and some guys to make Coca Paste. He thought the guys were good at first, but then he finds out they weren’t going to pay him, and they were going to make him work for a long time for free. When he gets to another Coca making place, and nobody is holding on to him, he runs into the jungle. Will he get caught? Will he survive? You’ll have to read the book to find out. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed reading about Diego’s adventures. If you like books with action, adventure, and well written stories, this is the book for you! It’s the best 200 pages you’ll ever read!
LeahM57 More than 1 year ago
I Am a Taxi is a well written realistic fiction story. It’s about a bright boy named Diego, who is desperately in need of money.His parents were sent to jail after being in possession or coca paste. However they never did anything, they just mistakenly sat down in the wrong seat. In the jail, Diego was suppose to watch after his younger sister but instead did homework. She wandered off and Diego went into panic mode. He sprints all over, but when the whole prison sees what he did, they reject him as a taxi, taxi’s someone who runs errands. Diego’s mistakes takes him to a dangerous jungle with his friend Mando. After awhile they realize stomping coca leaves into paste is to risky and illegal. A plan was created but was it to late after all? Their heart and courage keeps them going but sometimes that’s not enough. I give I Am a Taxi 5 stars because of the excitement it brings to one’s mind. This book was excellently written and keeps you hooked. Usually I strongly dislike the sequels, but the “Sacred Leaf” is perfect.
buzzyCC More than 1 year ago
I am a Taxi is about a kid named Diego His home? A prison. His job? A “Taxi doing jobs for other prisoners. But what happens when he loses his job he gets a very different job making coca paste a part in cocaine,what will he do? I give it a 4 out of 5 because it throws you in The middle of the story at the beginning but it is well written and good
GracieGrules More than 1 year ago
I Am Taxi is about a brilliant boy named Diego. He shares a tiny prison cell with his mother and little sister. Life is tough. They wouldn’t even be there if it wasn’t for the cocoa paste hidden under their bus seats. Diego works in a prison as a “taxi” running errands for other prisoners and doing homework for rich kids for money. When Diego loses track of his little sister, he isn’t allowed to leave the prison. He loses his job as a taxi and worries about his family’s future and having enough money. His friend Mando convinces him to go to the jungle for a job where he claims they’ll make lots of money. When they get there, Diego realizes the jeopardy he and his friend are in. This realistic fiction tells a story about a boys life and hardships. Sacred Leaf is a sequel that is a must read to complete Diego’s adventure even though it doesn’t finish Diego’s life story. Rate: 4.5 This book is well written with lots of adventure. It is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys realistic fiction, culture and the perseverance to succeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book was exciting amazing and pefect!! I loved this book!!!