Matica is a young girl who lives in the Andes with her missionary parents and older brother. What makes Matica unique, is that she is nine years-old but has the body of the two year-old child. Her affliction, causes the native Indians to be suspicious of Matica until she proves she is far more than her disability, and in fact her greatest strength is her size because being so small, Matica can fly on the back of a condor.
How this surprising event comes about, is when Matica befriends a male condor who seems to understand everything Matica is saying, and she in turn understand him. When the condor and his mate’s precious egg is stolen by poachers, Matica and her father find, and rescue the egg with the condors’ blessing. Matica and her family care for the egg and when it hatches, Matica is pseudo-mother to a giant condor.
Because of her befriending of the condors, Matica earns the Indians’ respect and admiration, which turns her life around. She gives talks at the school, and becomes special instead of feared. This is a story about how one young girl’s love for nature, turned her own life around and made it into something exciting, and most importantly, gave her disability meaning. This is a wonderfully written, heartfelt story about the power of love to redeem us. It’s about how Nature can heal and give our lives meaning and being us closer to those around us. I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it to readers of all ages. There is nothing in this book that I would read to even a five year-old.