Southwest Children's  Literature

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Crossing the Wire


How far would you go to help your family? Facing danger at every turn, Victor Flores tries to enter "El Norte," the United States, to ensure a better future for his family in this exciting novel.

Victor lives with his mother, his younger sisters, and brothers in a small village in central Mexico, near Guanajuato. Victor's father died in an accident while working in the United States to provide for his family, and now Victor must carry this burden. Although he grows corn to sustain his family, trade agreements have caused prices to fall, leaving his family little hope of survival. When Victor's best friend confides in him that he is going to cross the border to the United States, Victor decides his only choice is to go to El Norte as well.

Victor's journey to the border is anything but easy. First, he is nearly deported to Guatemala for not having identification and is injured in Mazatlán after jumping too soon from a train. He makes it to Nogales after jumping on another train, when he meets Julio, a boy his age. In Nogales, the two try to make money to cross over but part ways when Julio takes a big risk.

Feeling hopeless, Victor begins following a man he recognizes from his village, who grudgingly agrees to let him come along, and the two cross the border together. When Miguel finds out Victor is crossing to provide for his family, the two form a bond, and Miguel teaches Victor how to survive. But, when Miguel is captured by "la migra," the immigration police, Victor must use these skills, and his inner-strength, to survive and realize his dream of providing for his family in America. Victor faces dangerous and exciting obstacles throughout Crossing the Wire, leaving readers captivated by his adventures, and inspired by his strength and heart.

Crossing the Wire invites readers to explore the issues surrounding illegal immigration and its importance in current events. Victor helps readers build bridges between their experiences and those of others, creating understanding of a complicated issue. The book connects well with historical fiction related to immigration and makes the topic come alive with adventure.

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