The Crossing

The Crossing

3.8 20
by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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A critically acclaimed tearjerker from a master storyteller: On one side of the border is brutality and heartache; on the other side--a new life. 14yo Manny is an orphan in Juarez, Mexico. He competes with his bigger, meaner rivals for the coins American tourists throw off the bridge between Texas and his town. Across that heavily guarded bridge await a different…  See more details below

Overview

A critically acclaimed tearjerker from a master storyteller: On one side of the border is brutality and heartache; on the other side--a new life. 14yo Manny is an orphan in Juarez, Mexico. He competes with his bigger, meaner rivals for the coins American tourists throw off the bridge between Texas and his town. Across that heavily guarded bridge await a different world and a better existence. On the night when Manny dares the crossing--through the muddy shallows of the Rio Grande, past the searchlights and the border patrol--the young man encounters an old stranger who could prove to be an ally or an enemy. Manny can't tell for certain. But if he is to achieve his dream, then he must be willing to risk everything--even his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Paulsen's latest novel is as ugly as a bad dream. Unfortunately, it's not a dream, but a potent expression of the brutal realities of a bridge that joins the golden highways of ``el norte'' (the U.S.) and the mud streets of neighboring Mexico. Young Manny wants to cross the bridge to the land of dreams and opportunity. Sargeant Locke, in turn, crosses the border from Fort Bliss, Tex., for a night in Juarez. There he drinks himself into a ``brain dead'' state to keep the ghosts of departed friends from coming to visit. Somewhere between misery and ugliness these two meet; both of them, on the periphery of normal living, are joined in a fateful, violent act that provides one with life and hope, and the other the chance to give, without giving up. Paulsen overburdens young readers with the harsh facts of a grown-up's perspective. But any work by such a proficient writer, who invokes a powerful sense of the tragic in readers young and old, is welcomewelcome indeed. A Richard Jackson Book. Ages 11-13. (September)
School Library Journal
Gr 8-12 Manny is a small Mexican street boy in Juarez, an orphan who survives by using his wits and his speed against other desperate boys, against the evil street men who would kill or sell him, against starvation and death. Manny has only one chance to survive, and that means crossing the river into the United States, an incredibly dangerous undertaking for a small boy alone. Robert is a sergeant in the Army. His whole life consists of being a good officer during the day and surviving his haunted nights by drinking himself into oblivion. Robert is haunted by dead friends, gruesomely killed in war. Manny and Robert meet when the sergeant is being sick behind a bar and Manny tries to lift his wallet. Manny doesn't succeed, but this is the beginning of a relationship, brief and brutal, which leads to the sergeant's death and Manny's chance for survival. (Readers may question what language is being spoken, as it is made clear that Robert speaks no Spanish and Manny knows only enough English to hold a ``limited conversation.'' However, it shouldn't matter, as the two have little verbal communication.) Paulsen creates a stark, moving portrait of Mexican poverty and street life, of the desperation facing those who attempt ``the crossing.'' Like the relationship between Robert and Manny, this book is brief and brutal but ends on a note of hope. The short length and simple writing style should give this book special appeal for high-school students who are reluctant readers. Rosie Peasley, Sylvan Union Sch . Dist . , Modesto, Calif.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545748094
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/27/2014
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
370,457
File size:
7 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Gary Paulsen has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is considered one of the most important writers for young adults today. Three of his novels — HATCHET, DOGSONG, and THE WINTER ROOM — were Newbery Honor books, and his works frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.
Mr. Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between their home in New Mexico, a boat in the Pacific, and adventures in the wilderness.

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