I want Bookworm to start reading more multi-cultural books, so I did a little research to find some new books for him to read.

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One that I found was Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs.  I pre-read it before him, and wow, what a book!

The story follows fifteen year old Victor Flores who lives in Mexico with his mother, brother, and sisters.  His father regularly illegally crossed the border to work in the United States until he was killed in an accident while working in South Caroline four years ago.  Victor is trying hard to support his family, but thanks to the Free Trade agreement, the corn he grows sells for a pittance.  Still, Victor has no desire to leave his home.

His best friend, Rico, is the youngest in his family, and he decides to secretly cross the border, without his parents’ knowledge.  Rico has a much older brother who lives in Tucson, Arizona and makes a good living selling cars and maintaining pools.  His brother sends him money to have a coyote help him cross the border.

Victor thinks Rico is crazy to even try, but just a few days after Rico leaves, Victor sets out to work in El Norte.  His family is on the brink of losing their home, and they are hungry.  Victor sees he has no other choice but to try to get to the United States.  Unlike Rico, though, he has no money for a coyote; he’ll need to cross the border on his own.

Much of the rest of the book follows Victor’s journey, and what a heart-stopping one it is.  When he is traveling, he is almost completely at the mercy of those he runs into, and many of them want to take advantage of him.  Victor tries to find partners to help him cross, but the journey is still a long, dangerous one filled with life-threatening obstacles.

This is an excellent books to help young readers, those 12 and older, understand why people try to cross the border illegally and what a dangerous journey it is.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.