The Charcoal Boys
By Roger Mello
Translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn
Beautifully illustrated by Roger Mello with sophisticated, highly textural paper cutouts, The Charcoal Boys is a poetic and sensitive portrait of a child living under difficult circumstances. The Charcoal Boys offers a unique perspective on the life of a young boy working in Brazil’s charcoal mines: that of a wasp who follows the child throughout his day. Through the wasp we observe the hardships the little boy faces, from his work at the furnaces to his relationships with the other workers. Mello allows the little boy’s strength and resilience to shine through in this moving condemnation of child labor.