Professor and writer Marli Carmen Jachnke argues that one of the ways to raise awareness among young people about the preservation of the Amazon is to balance knowledge and playfulness. With this commitment to propagating the culture, history and traditions of the northern region of the country in a fun way, she published the didactic novel “Amazônia – Um Caminho para o Sonho”.
The result of extensive documentary research and a field study, the author provides truthful and in-depth information through the voice of Daniel, the charismatic History teacher who accompanies four friends on an adventure through the region. He is not on this journey by chance: he is Joana’s uncle, who lost his parents early and, therefore, the two live together.
Based on this character’s knowledge, the audience will learn about Ajuricaba, an important leader of indigenous peoples who led a war against the Portuguese; the relationships between the architecture of the Teatro Amazonas and the Brazilian belle époque; the inequalities caused by the rubber cycle, and more. Furthermore, issues such as eating habits, beliefs, legends and other cultural riches appear in the narrative.
How did the idea to write “Amazônia – Um Caminho para o Sonho” come about? Is there any personal experience or inspiration behind this storyline?
I was already interested in the theme of the Amazon and wanted my book to take place there; So, all that was left to do was think about how the book would be developed.
What was the biggest challenge when incorporating detailed information about the Amazon region into a textbook?
I think my biggest challenge was controlling the excess of information, since the northern region is a place very rich in history, culture and traditions.
What cultural elements or aspects of the region’s history do you believe will be most impactful for young readers as they explore the book?
I think it will be the part about the history of Fordlândia, and also the passage of the warrior Amazons and the muiraquitã amulet.
How was the balance between knowledge and playfulness achieved in the narrative to make the reading experience attractive and educational at the same time?
Before I began writing, I conducted extensive historical research; later, I traveled to the Amazon region. This allowed me to have a solid understanding of the historical and cultural background on which my narrative would be based. I used dialogue between characters to convey historical information in a more accessible way.
Could you share how the story of Ajuricaba and other historical figures were covered in the book? What was the criteria for selecting these specific stories?
They are approached naturally in the conversation, since Daniel, one of the characters, studied History. I tried to select the historical part based on its importance or also because it could be interesting to the reader.
The main characters have their individual reasons for participating in the trip to the Amazon. How do these personal goals intertwine with exploration of the region?
The rich and diverse history of the Amazon, as well as contact with nature, influences each of them in a light but also decisive way. Everyone can reflect on their steps and their ability to move forward in pursuit of their goals.
How do you see the importance of literature in environmental awareness and preservation, especially in relation to the Amazon?
Generally, literature creates an emotional connection between the reader and the environment portrayed in the book. When the reader immerses himself in a story that takes place in the Amazon, he can awaken an understanding of the importance of the region for the world and its preservation.
In addition to knowledge about the Amazon, what other messages or lessons do you hope readers absorb by following the characters’ journey?
“Amazônia, Um Caminho para o Sonho” conveys a message of hope and inspiration. The story reminds us that we can pursue our dreams and find the “path” that will take us on a journey of self-knowledge and respect for others and nature.
You mentioned that the book is the first in a duology. What can readers expect from the next release that will cover the history of the Andes mountain range?
In the next book, we continue with the didactic proposal, now in Andean lands. Readers will be able to learn more about the history and culture of this region and also find out what happened to the characters after their trip to the Brazilian Amazon.
Finally, how do you believe that literature and education can come together to inspire effective actions to preserve the Amazon?
Literature can spark this interest, serving as a starting point for discussions on the topic, as well as inspiring visits and field experiences that lead to contact with nature, not necessarily just within the Amazon. It can also encourage people who read the book to create projects related to this topic. Always remember that what is not spoken is not remembered. We must talk about the Amazon, not only in the classroom, but also outside it.
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