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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. As the ...
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. As the voices in his head grow louder and more insistent, Manz struggles to negotiate the difficulties of adolescence, the perils of an oppressed environment, and the terror of losing his grip on reality.
Posted January 11, 2011
Isaiah Luis "Manz" Martinez was born to a teenage mother, whose father disowned her not because she got pregnant so young but because she was carrying a Mexican's child. Manz is Mexican and Caucasian. His father, Adres "Loco" Martinez, passed away and so did his half-brother, Gabriel. Now it's just him and his mother, Delores, and her man, Thomas, whose job as a truck driver takes him away from home a lot. Manz and his family don't have much to live on, so he does his part by taking on a summer job. Working at Darby Guest Ranch is tougher than he thought but nothing is more difficult than listening to the strange sounds and voices no one else can hear. Will Manz learn to distinguish what's real from what's not or will he allow the voices to destroy him? Jedediah (Jed) Parker isn't fighting a battle in his mind like his friend, but, just like Manz, he doesn't have the life of a typical teenager. This young man has a lot to deal with. He's more than a son and a brother; he's his mother and sister's protector, doing what he can to keep them safe from his abusive father. I bought this book because I wanted to see how the author dealt with a subject as delicate as schizophrenia. I decided I was going to take my time reading; absorb every word so I'd understand exactly what Manz was going through. I predicted a couple of things early on in the story, but only because I know this mental disorder can be hereditary and extremely difficult to live with. Something that occurred with the Parker family was unexpected and the thoughts tormenting Manz at that time saddened me. And the paranoia Manz experienced throughout the story was so cleverly written that at times I wondered if what was really was. There are teenagers, like Manz, who have way more to worry about than fitting in, getting good grades, etc. Their issues are much deeper and more frustrating because they have no control over what's going on. I sympathized with Manz, that's for sure, and my heart goes out to every single person who is struggling with this illness. Border Crossing is a well-written page-turner; definitely a must read!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2010
Manz's summer starts off regularly enough. Listening to his mother, Delores, come home drunk at night. Getting short-term jobs at ranches in the area with his friend, Jed. Then strange things begin happening.
He starts hearing voices, and they won't stop. They begin telling him what to do, and he starts listening. They tell him that people are after him. He's on the watch, constantly on edge. The border patrol will come to get him any day now, and everyone he knows is a conspirator in their plan. Or so he thinks.
Anderson has created an intriguing cast of characters who all deal with serious issues. Manz has schizophrenia, making it hard to know whether or not to believe anything that comes out of his mouth. At the start of the book, it isn't so bad, but as the story progresses it becomes increasingly worse. Delores has an alcohol addiction that amps up every time her partner, Tom, leaves town. Since Tom is a truck driver, that's fairly often. Manz's friend, Jed, deals with domestic violence from his father at home. Jed's mother and sister suffer, as well.
At less than two-hundred pages, BORDER CROSSING is a very quick read. The plot keeps you alert at all times, never knowing which way things will go. Although the ending isn't quite as clear as I would have liked, it still manages to wrap up the story well, while simultaneously leaving some things for the reader to decide on their own.