By School Library Journal
Julio C. Tello dreamed of documenting Indigenous history through an Indigenous perspective. Growing up in the shadow of the Andes mountains in the late 1800s, Tello heard about the glorious history of Peru from his father. The widespread death and destruction that followed in the wake of the Spanish invasion nearly erased thousands of years of pre-European history, but Tello was determined to discover it all. His fearless curiosity earned him the nickname Sharuko, which means brave in his Quechua language. He graduated from medical school in Lima, Peru, in 1909 and earned a graduate degree in anthropology from Harvard in 1911. Upon returning to Peru, he made many important archaeological discoveries and became known as the “founder of modern Peruvian archaeology.” From the discovery of ancient skulls in his youth to his appointment as director of Peru’s Museum of Anthropology in 1939, Tello’s drive to uncover the heritage of his people helped him become Peru’s first Indigenous archaeologist. Brown’s bilingual narrative is clear and straightforward, making Tello’s life and achievements easily accessible. Chavarri’s colorful and upbeat illustrations highlight Tello’s discoveries, from the endpapers featuring stone heads extracted from the Chavín de Huántar site to the motifs of Paracas textiles. VERDICT A highly recommended and inspiring portrayal of dedication and perseverance for today’s generation of explorers.