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Children's LiteratureVictor Flores is fifteen and faced with tremendous problems. His family's small farm in rural Mexico is failing. The death of his father while working in America has left the Flores family desperate. All that Victor can do is leave his family behind and head out to try to find work in "El Norte," the United States. Victor's journey will not be an easy one as he encounters gangs, greedy drug runners, coyotes bent upon sucking profit from the poor migrants, the dangers inherent in crossing the deserts and mountains, and the migra, or border patrol. Along the way Victor makes short-term acquaintances and discovers just how important friendship can be. Victor also finds the strength within himself to sacrifice nearly everything so that he can earn enough money to support his family back in Mexico. Will Hobbs' Crossing the Wire is a powerful story that helps to put a human face on the issues of illegal immigration into the United States from Mexico. In the character of Victor Flores readers will meet a youngster whose sole motivation is to support his economically strapped family. His efforts are almost universally met with exploitation, cruelty, and danger. In the end Victor discovers a great deal, not only about the way the passage north operates but also about himself. Crossing the Wire is a well told tale and a novel that readers will appreciate and learn from. 2006, HarperCollins, and Ages 10 up.
—Greg M. Romaneck