Rumbo al Hermoso Norte: A Novel

Rumbo al Hermoso Norte: A Novel

3.8 25
by Luis Alberto Urrea

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Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and


Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rumbo al hermoso norte. (Into The Beautiful North) Urrea, Luis Alberto. tr. by. Enrique Hubbard Urrea. U.S.: Back Bay Books: Little, Brown. 2009. 353p. ISBN 978-0-316-05486-7. pap. $14.99. FICTION “Perhaps it is time for a new kind of femininity,” declares Nayeli, the 19-year-old heroine of this engaging postglobalization immigration story from the author of La hija de la chuparrosa (The Hummingbird’s Daughter). Nayeli’s small village in the Sinaloa region of Mexico has been drained of its adult males, including her father, by the promise of “El Norte,” and taken over by some shadowy gangsters. Nayeli decides to journey north herself to bring back some of the men who have abandoned their families and their country, thereby saving her beloved town. It would be hard to go wrong with such a premise, and Urrea rises to the occasion with a surprising, inventive, and very funny novel populated by an array of quirky characters. Highly recommended. [LJ 2/15/09]

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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Meet the Author

Luis Alberto Urrea ha escrito varios libros, entre ellos La Hija de la Chuparrosa, El Sendero del Diablo, Cruzando la Alambrada, En el Lago de los Niños Durmientes. Nació en Tijuana, hijo de padre mexicano y madre norteamericana. Ha recibido numerosos premios por sus obras de ficción, poesía y periodismo, entre ellos Premio Lannan de Literatura, el Premio Christopher, el Premio Kiriyama, el Premio Libro Americano, así como el Premio al Libro Estados Occidentales. Fue también finalista para el premio Pulitzer de Ensayo. Ha sido catedrático en Harvard, en la Universidad de Colorado y en la Universidad de Louisiana en Lafayette. Actualmente enseña en la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago. Para mayor información acerca del autor consulte:

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Into the Beautiful North 3.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 25 reviews.
choochee More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I wasn't bothered at all by the Spanish, as some reviewers were, as the story carried me along without the need to understand every word of dialogue. Living in San Diego, it was fun to read about my city from the point of view of these wonderful characters. Great story, colorful characters, and beautiful writing. By the way, I am middle aged and did not consider this a young adult novel; it has appeal for all ages.
Chris-An More than 1 year ago
I first heard about this book a few months ago driving in my car. The book was being reviewed and the author interviewed. I really enjoyed the whole premise and the well written selections the author shared. I thought I would remember the title. Painfully not. Then a couple of weeks ago, I ran across it just browsing the bookshelves at my local B&N. Wow! I loved this book. The characters are so richly developed and the plot so different. There is a great deal of humor to a very complex story which at times becomes tense and at other times so sad. Nayelli and her girls (plus one delightful guy) and the wonderful people they meet on their journey "into the beautiful north" are characters who will not easily be forgotten. P.S. Spanish phrases are sprinkled throughout, but it isn't distracting if you don't know Spanish.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book and immediately connected with the main character and the storyline. I found author Luis Alberto Urrea's writing style very easy and engaging-- something really necessary for me. I've said before that I am not a "book club" kind of girl. I don't want reading to be a challenge. I don't want to spend my time trying to interpret a bunch of symbolism. I simply want to be engaged and entertained, and perhaps have my eyes opened a little wider (in either enlightenment or surprise). I slipped into this book like a comfortable pair of old slippers. It just felt good. This is the story of a Mexican girl named Nayeli, who lives in the town of Los Camerones. The men have left her town for the US in search of work and fortunes, and the inhabitants of town have been left vulnerable. Nayeli gets the idea to go to the US to recruit Mexican men to come back to Los Camerones, and also in search of her own father who went to the US and quit writing to the family. This story captures the complexities of illegal immigration and the highly-charged emotions surrounding it-- not only in our own country, but in Mexico as well. I enjoyed the characters of Nayeli and Tacho and the nutty Atomiko. I held on until the end, waiting to find out whether Nayeli would ever find her father. One negative is the excessive use of spanish without translation. I often found myself feeling like an outsider looking in-- as if only I knew what they just said, I could join in on the joke and find it all very clever! I found this to be a very enjoyable read. It wasn't deeply thought-provoking or emotionally stirring, but it was an interesting story with engaging characters and a beautiful writing style. I give it two thumbs up-- and maybe I'll throw in a pinky-toe, too!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, being of Mexican descent there were things I have experience as Nayeli did while being in El Norte. I must admit the beginning was not great with all the detail about actors and hair and nonsense but I guess it was Urrea's way of developing the characters. However, the moment they start their journey I could not put the book down. It was also very easy to create the imagery in my head as if I were right there experiencing the long, dangerous journey into our beautiful country. It makes you realize how we take our country for granted. I definitely recommend!
Sparkle47 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book.
Joesmar More than 1 year ago
I found the book interesting and the the overall storyline was good, but I personally did not like the author's writing style. I also did not feel the characters were very well defined and wanted to understand more about the thoughts of feelings of the characters.
Lynnejeanne More than 1 year ago
Okay story -
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ionestjames More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. I'm usually not too fond of Young Adult fiction or books whose main characters are teenagers. I can honestly say that this book surprised me. I got it because I needed a "U" for my A-Z Challenge and when I checked it out from the library I didn't think I was going to enjoy it. I thought, upon reading the synopsis, that this was going to be another book that centered on the pain and suffering of immigrants (both legal and illegal) from Mexico to America. Not that I think they deserve their pain and misfortune, I've just heard about it and read about it in the news and it is something that doesn't really peek my interests. After reading it, I pushed all of those thoughts away and I found a new respect for Young Adult fiction (I had lost it after reading the Twilight series). All I see around me at the library and in the bookstore is shelf after shelf of Young Adult vampire romances. It was nice to find something different and refreshing on the shelf. This book is something I could see many young girls around my age (I'm nineteen if some of you have forgotten) identifying with Nayeli, the main character. She's strong, funny, and has a posse of friends that remind me of my own. This book has a lot to teach young girls about being strong and not letting the fact you have a vagina ruin your life. A girl can be just as strong, maybe even stronger, than a guy can and they shouldn't be ashamed if they are. The one and only aspect of this book that irked me slightly was the parts of dialogue where the author, obviously of Spanish origins, had his characters speak full sentences in only Spanish. Usually this is okay if the next line of dialogue (from another character) replies to the Spanish statement in English (or whatever language the book is printed in) and in a way that helps the reader understand what is being said without needing a Spanish-English (or whatever language the book is printed in) Dictionary. Urrea does not do this. I actually had to use an online translator in parts of the book because I had no idea what was going on and what the characters were saying. Other than that, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Young Adult fiction and enjoys relating to characters in books. Just remember to keep that Spanish Dictionary on hand.
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ChelseaManchester More than 1 year ago
Into the Beautiful North, a Magnificent Seven for the 21st century is a beautiful book. In turn funny, adventurous, touching, and enlightening, this novel would be a great choice for any teen or adult reader. The language Urrea uses and the images he creates are masterful. As three unlikely characters illegally enter the United States from Mexico to find their own Magnificent Seven to save their village, their adventures and problems become fodder enticing readers to turn at least just one more page before putting the book down. This novel has not received the public attention that is due it. I hope it will and soon, but until then, it becomes the perfect gift to give--a book that most will cherish and think the gift-giver so clever for having found it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
moller More than 1 year ago
I particularly enjoy Mr. Urrea 's writing. I've read Hummingbird's Daughter, The Devil's Highway and now this jewel of a book. The characters are colorful and real. Makes me want to get to know them better. The journey the group takes is amazing and it felt true. Thank you Luis Alberto Urrea!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love thisbook it really madmy day but n Ot reallye
WriteIdea More than 1 year ago
I liked this book , not just for the great writing, but thejourney it tom me on across Mexico and the U.S