A memorable, compelling story about the perseverance of a child and the human right to education.

My teacher said that it takes around 1,600 steps to walk 1 kilometer . . . so 9 kilometers would be almost 15,000 steps. So many!

But I think it’s fewer, because I also look for shortcuts, and I skip and leap. How many skips would it take to travel 1 kilometer?

It’s easier to count butterflies. One day I saw 15! White, yellow, and orange ones. And 10 lizards, green and purple ones!

It’s cold out, but when I’m walking, I don’t notice. I like to walk.
To walk and to count.

At school I learned that 1 kilometer is the same as 1,000 meters. So then 9 kilometers is 9,000 meters: one nine and three zeros, walking in single file.

9 Kilometers

Written by Claudio Aguilera
Illustrated by Gabriela Lyon
Translated by Lawrence Schimel

Ages 5-9

HARDCOVER; Releases: 2/28/2023

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A memorable, compelling story about the perseverance of a child and the human right to education.

The sky is still dark when a young boy leaves home for school. He has a long path ahead: nine kilometers—over five-and-a-half miles—through the mountains and rain forests of Chile. But the boy doesn’t mind. While he walks, he can count butterflies and lizards, and he can think about where the 15,000 steps he takes every morning could lead. Nine kilometers could bring the boy across ninety soccer fields, up the world’s ten largest buildings, or into a classroom at last…

Set against the lush backdrop of southern Chile, this book features one of the many children around the world who travel long distances in order to go to school. After the story, thoughtfully illustrated back matter explores the unique birds of Chile and the courage of similar students’ journeys in other countries. Striking and timely, 9 Kilometers will open lasting conversations about social inequalities, the value of learning, and the resilience of those who push past obstacles toward a better future.

“A brilliantly illustrated account of an arduous—yet deeply rewarding—journey.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)