Gr 7 Up-When he is 16, Sergio sets off on a journey from Los Angeles to keep a promise he had made to his grandfather to take his body back to El Salvador for burial after his death. After he convinces his parents and guidance counselor to let him go, he leaves behind his struggles in school and his job cleaning buildings to get on a plane transporting his grandfather's coffin. Although the plane crashes over a body of water en route, everyone survives, and the retrieved floating casket gets to its destination. While staying with his aunt for the week, Sergio meets Flor de cngel. After surviving an earthquake, they realize that they are in love, and Sergio decides to stay and help her as she is smuggled into the United States. Awkward dialogue, implausible situations, and an abundance of telling rather than showing make this book fall short. Ben Mikaelsen's Red Midnight (HarperCollins, 2002) and Fran Leeper Buss's Journey of the Sparrows (Puffin, 2002) are better books that feature Central American characters illegally crossing the United States border for a better life, or simply to survive.-Diane P. Tuccillo, City of Mesa Library, AZ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.