Richmond author shortlisted for B.C. Book Prize

Silvana Goldemberg has been nominated for a B.C. Book Prize in children’s literature for her novel Victoria. - Jacqueline Langen
Silvana Goldemberg has been nominated for a B.C. Book Prize in children’s literature for her novel Victoria.
— image credit: Jacqueline Langen

Argentinean-born author Silvana Goldemberg presents the challenges faced by South American children in their everyday lives to North American readers in her new book, Victoria.

Nominated for this year’s B.C. Book Prize for children’s literature, the novel aims to expand the world-view of young teen readers ages 12 and up.

“Victoria was born from my need to inform our teens how life is for millions of people the same age as them in Latin America. It’s a fictional story based on real facts. I, personally, know hundreds of girls like Victoria,” said Goldemberg, who lives in Richmond.

Victoria is Goldemberg’s first English-language novel and is based upon the changing life of 14-year old Victoria Díaz. After the teen experiences the death of her parents, she then moves into her aunt’s home in Paraná, Argentina with her two brothers—only to find herself in another unfortunate situation.

After an attempted assault by her aunt’s boyfriend, Diaz is compelled to leave. Deciding to run away from home, she finds herself face to face with the dangerous street life of Paraná.

The book includes a range of heavy topics including assault, drugs and gang association, which are all a reality for many young South Americans.

“Our children and youth, as well as many adults, don’t know how hard life really is for children in Latin America. I hope that learning others’ realities can bring a sense of, not only awareness, but closeness,” she said.

Victoria’s attitude is an example of transitioning from a very difficult experience, to building the decent life she always dreamed. Goldemberg shares the fictional story from a real life perspective. Born and raised in Argentina, she moved to Canada as an adult in 2003.

She is currently working on another pre-teen story, which is set in Steveston.

“Right now, I’m writing a novel about a boy who moves to Steveston against his will, and finds himself caught in an incredible adventure.”

B.C. Book Prizes winners will be announced on May 3 in Vancouver.

“To be nominated is enough of a reward,” said Goldemberg, who has donated a copy of Victoria to the Richmond Public Library for all to read.

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