the indigo notebook
15-year-old Zeeta and her flighty mother live in a different country every year. This year, in the Ecuadoran Andes, Zeeta helps an American boy search for his birth parents. With him, she encounters adventure, mystery, love, and ultimately, the truth about what she really wants. First in the Notebooks Trilogy.
Ages 10 & up, Delacorte/Random House, available as hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
awards and honors
"Well plotted, with a cast of likable and interesting secondary characters and a powerfully atmospheric setting that includes a cave of crystals and a waterfall supposed to have magical powers, this novel succeeds at creating a believable and touchingly gentle romance between Zeeta and Wendell. The fantastic element, Wendell’s inherited gift of seeing into the future, is deftly handled. An entertaining and suspenseful read." -- School Library Journal
"Zeeta is an effective guide for readers as well as for Wendell in this exotic landscape… Her own questioning of what she really wants also facilitates readerly connections; holding the exciting plot, evocative setting, and unusual experiences up to the rhythms of a more ordinary life enables readers to share Zeeta's ultimate epiphany that she is, in fact, living the life others only dream of. " --The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
"Observant, aware, and occasionally wry, Zeeta’s first-person narration will attract readers and hold them... Resau, the author of What the Moon Saw (2006) and Red Glass (2007), offers another absorbing novel with a Latin American setting." --ALA Booklist Review
"The characters fairly brim with life in this thoughtful, poignant novel filled with cultural details. The writing is simple but evocative." --Kirkus Review
Fellow author and Baltimorean Anne Tyler said that writing novels lets her live many alternate lives. I love this about writing. At some point in my twenties, I was faced with the choice of either endlessly moving from country to country teaching ESL-or settling somewhere. I chose the latter, promising myself I'd take short trips as often as possible and try to live abroad again for a year or so... but part of me wonders what my life would have been like as a permanent traveler. So I created Zeeta and Layla, who in some sense, represent conflicting parts of myself. Through them, I can (sort of) live out my alternate wandering life.
When I proposed this project to my agent and editor, I was especially excited at the idea that travel was required for these books. At that time, my husband and I were planning to have our first child, so I knew my life would soon undergo a huge change. I wanted to make sure I had to take international "research trips," as a kind of protection against the possibility that life with a baby would make me put my traveling-the-world passion on hold. Another benefit of doing a travel series is that I can incorporate what I learned for my Masters degree in cultural anthropology. (It's nice to feel that I didn't sweat over nine zillion journal articles for nothing...)
My idea for the series' first book, The Indigo Notebook, grew out of a research trip I took to Ecuador for a collaborative memoir I was working on (which hopefully will come out with in the next couple years.) My close friend María Virginia, an indigenous Otavaleña woman, asked me to write a book with her about her amazing girlhood in the Ecuadoran Andes. While I spent "research" time in Ecuador, another indigenous friend happened to tell me about his recently discovered half-brother-- a teenage boy who had been adopted as a baby by a European family. The boy came to my friend's community searching for his birth parents, where he ultimately discovered the truth of his origins-- a somewhat painful, but mostly joyful journey. This gave me the idea for Wendell's search.
Read more about the inspiration for The Indigo Notebook here.
The Indigo Notebook Discussion Guide (by Laura)
The Indigo Notebook Readers' Guide (by Random House)
You can read an interview about the Notebooks series on my blog here.
Read interviews about The Indigo Notebook featured on other blogs: