Author: Tony Johnston, María Elena Fontanot de Rhoads
Genre: middle grade
Publisher: Abrams Kids
Pub Date: March 19, 2019
Taken from NetGalley
Twelve-year-old Manuel leaves his small town in Mexico to join his older brother in Los Angeles. To cross the US border, he must become a “beast rider”—someone who hops on a train. The first time he tries, he is stopped by the Mexican police, who arrest and beat him. When he tries again, he is attacked by a Mexican gang and left for dead. Just when Manuel is ready to turn back, he finds new hope. Villagers clothe and feed him, help him find work, and eventually boost him back onto the train. When he finally arrives in LA and is reunited with his brother, he is elated. But the longer he’s there, the more he realizes that something isn’t right. Thrilling and heartfelt, Beast Rider is a coming-of-age story that reveals how a place and its people help to define you.
Wow! What a powerful story! I am almost in tears after just finishing this book. Manuel is a 12 year old boy leaving his family in Southern Mexico in search of his brother who left years before for Los Angeles. He travels by train, or also known as the beast, Manuel is a Beast Rider. His travels to find his brother make up this story and it is one I won’t soon forget.
I really was cheering for Manuel and also in shock that boys of 12 years old actually do this. When I look at my son that will be 12 this year it makes my heart hurt. Manuel’s character grows so much through this middle grade story!
Even though some parts of this book were hard to read, the book never goes into much detail when Manuel gets into some trouble. I also was very pleased with the ending, This story is a work of fiction, but is based off real events. The Beast is a real network of freight trains connecting Southern Mexico to the United States. I highly recommend this story!
Such a powerful story! Highly recommend!❤️
Happy Reading Friends!❤️
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