Monday, October 22, 2018

Bibliophile's Corner

The Only Road
by Alexandra Diaz

Flap Copy Description:
Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead.

Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed—like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: accompanied by his cousin √Āngela, Jaime must flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.
Inspired by true events, The Only Road is an individual story of a boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life.

My Thoughts:
When my husband and I began planning a trip to Guatemala (scheduled for October 29th - November 13th), I immediately started searching for a middle grade novel that was set in that Central American country. I couldn't have discovered a more remarkable - or relevant - story than The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz! The extraordinary book tells a tale of sacrifice, courage and danger as a young boy and his cousin leave Guatemala after being threatened by their town's resident gang, The Alphas. While the book takes the reader on the children's journey through Mexico and finally into the U.S., the culture and condition of Guatemala is felt with every turn of a page. In 2017 The Only Road was a Pura Belpre Honor book. This middle grade novel is a must-read for young readers, especially in light of the struggle our country currently faces regarding immigration reform. No matter who you are, you'll see the subject of immigration in a whole new light. I highly recommend The Only Road to readers aged eight to twelve!

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