Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crossing the Border

YA and MG books that chronicle the struggles of teens that cross the U.S.-Mexico Border.

The Circuit (Francisco Jimenez)
Explores a migrant family's experiences moving through labor camps, facing poverty and impermanence, and discusses how they endure through faith, hope, and back-breaking work.
First Crossing (Donald R. Gallo, ed.)
Eleven contemporary YA writers tell stories of teen immigrants from various countries including China, Palestine, Korea, and Haiti. Authors include Pam Munoz Ryan, David Lubar, and Rita Williams-Garcia.

Homestretch (Paul Volponi)
Five months after losing his mother, seventeen-year-old Gus runs away from an abusive father and gets a job working at an Arkansas race track, surrounded by the illegal Mexican immigrants that he and his father blame for her death.

Reaching Out (Francisco Jimenez)
Author Francisco Jimenez, the son of Mexican immigrants, describes the challenges he faced as a student at Santa Clara University in California in the 1960s.
Pocho (Jose Antonio Villarreal)
During the Depression-era in California, Richard, a young Mexican American, experiences a conflict between loyalty to the traditions of his family's past and attraction to new ideas.
Esperanza Rising (Pam Munoz Ryan)
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Alamo Wars (Ray Villarreal)
When a Texas school puts on an original play about the Alamo, the students and teachers confront modern conflicts about history, identity, and the meaning of courage.

Border Crossing (Jessica Lee Anderson)
The mixed-race son of apple pickers, Manz lives with his hard-drinking mother and her truck-driver boyfriend in the hardscrabble world of dusty Rockhill, Texas. Forced to take a summer job rebuilding fence of a cattle ranch, Manz works alongside his friend Jed and meets a girl named Vanessa — but even among his friends, Manz suffers from an uncontrollable paranoia. As the summer wears on, Manz becomes convinced that "Operation Wetback," a brutal postwar relocation program, is being put back into effect.

Buried Onions (Gary Soto)
When nineteen-year-old Eddie drops out of college, he struggles to find a place for himself as a Mexican American living in a violence-infested neighborhood of Fresno, California.
A So-Called Vacation (Genaro Gonzalez)
When their father insists that they lack "life experiences," teenaged brothers Gabriel and Gustavo reluctantly agree to a family vacation in a California migrant camp, where the boys pick crops and learn about immigrant labor and prejudice within the Hispanic community.

Under the Same Sky (Cynthia DeFelice)
While trying to earn money for a motor bike, fourteen-year-old Joe Pederson becomes involved with the Mexicans who work on his family's farm and develops a better relationship with his father.
Under the Feet of Jesus (Helena Maria Viramontes)
Two young Mexican American migrant workers in California find hope in love, despite the poverty and social conditions in which they live.

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