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Available copies

  • 2 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Breckenridge Public Library Y TOR (Text) 33500013254495 New Available -
Climax Public Library Y TOR (Text) 33500013254487 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781984812261
  • ISBN: 1984812262
  • Physical Description: 348 pages ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: Newy York : Philomel Books, [2020]

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But, none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life -- if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.
Target Audience Note:
Ages 12 up Philomel Books.
Grades 10-12 Philomel Books

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 March #2
    *Starred Review* This gripping, poignant story, grounded in current events, is told from the alternating points of view of Pulga ("Flea") and his cousin Pequeña ("Little"), who, along with Pulga's brother, Chico, struggle with the daily violence and corruption in Guatemala. The trio often hear tales of escaping to America via La Bestia, an arduous journey that includes stowing away on a horrifying train to cross borders illegally. When the terror at home gets out of hand, Pulga, Pequeña, and Chico decide to flee but soon find that the trail ahead is "some kind of dark maze, some labyrinth or trap, that we might never find our way out of." This soul-shaking narrative feels as real as the list of historical references included in the back matter. Readers will question, like the trio, if there is any good left in the world, but through their hardships, they come to learn that family means more than blood, and that their hearts and aspirations are bigger than their nicknames imply. Melding the adventure with bouts of magical realism recalling the works of Gabriel García Márquez—and writing with respect and sympathy for the plight of these people—Sanchez takes readers on a frightening pursuit of the American dream, and whether or not the trio is successful, we must keep them company every difficult step of the way. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Jenny Torres Sanchez ( is a full-time writer and former English teacher. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, but has lived on the border of two worlds her whole life. She is the author of We Are Not From Here; The Fall of Innocence; Because of the Sun; Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia; and The Downside of Being Charlie. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and children. Follow her on Twitter @jetchez and on Instagram @jennytsanchez.

Subject: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement > Juvenile fiction.
Refugees > Juvenile fiction.
Emigration and immigration > Juvenile fiction.
Immigrants > Juvenile fiction.
Guatemalans > United States > Juvenile fiction.
Guatemala > Juvenile fiction.
Mexico > Juvenile fiction.
Immigrants > Fiction.
Genre: Young adult fiction.

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