by Francisco X. Stork


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You've never read Francisco X. Stork like this! A missing girl, a determined reporter, and a young man on the brink combine for a powerful story of choices, suspense, and survival.

Four Months Ago
Sara Zapata's best friend disappeared, kidnapped by the web of criminals who terrorize Juárez.

Four Hours Ago
Sara received a death threat -- and with it, a clue to the place where her friend is locked away.

Four Weeks Ago
Emiliano Zapata fell in love with Perla Rubi, who will never be his so long as he's poor.

Four Minutes Ago
Emiliano got the chance to make more money than he ever dreamed -- just by joining the web.

In the next four days, Sara and Emiliano will each face impossible choices, between life and justice, friends and family, truth and love. But when the criminals come after Sara, only one path remains for both siblings: the way across the desert to the United States.

Award-winning author Francisco X. Stork delivers his most gripping novel yet in this tense and timely international thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338312829
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 197,842
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Francisco X. Stork is the author of Marcelo in the Real World, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens and the Once Upon a World Award; The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, which was named to the YALSA Best Fiction for Teens list and won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award; Irises; The Memory of Light, which received four starred reviews; and Disappeared, which also received four starred reviews and was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. He lives near Boston with his wife. You can find him on the web at franciscostork.com and @StorkFrancisco.

Read an Excerpt

Sara clicks on the third e-mail and her heart stops. The subject line says puchi. That's Linda and Sara's secret word. Heart racing now, Sara clicks on the attachment. It's a picture. It isn't Linda, but another beautiful young woman, about sixteen or seventeen, grimacing as if she smells something bad. She's sitting in what looks like a nightclub booth, next to an older man whose bald head has fallen to his chest as if he's passed out. On the table in front of them are an empty bottle of expensive Scotch whiskey and two thick crystal glasses. Next to the man is an ashtray with a cigarette still burning. Everything looks expensive in a cheap kind of way. The picture is off-center, rushed, like someone got up, leaving his cell phone behind, and someone else snapped a picture and sent it. Someone else. Linda. Linda knew that one of Sara's jobs at El Sol is checking the hotline. And only Linda would use "puchi" for the old man. Sara's head spins. She doesn't recognize the nightclub, but she doesn’t go to places like that often. And this wouldn't be just any club, otherwise Linda would come home. This must be a place where girls are kept against their will. If Linda was at the table with the puchi guy, she must be kept by these men too. Then she realizes: Someone deleted the hotline e-mails. That means the criminals know Linda sent the e-mail. The thought of what they might do to her takes Sara's breath away. She calls Ernesto. "Hey," she says, struggling to keep her voice calm. "Any way you and the Jacqueros can find out who the guy in the picture is?" "Hold on. Okay, I'm looking at it now. It's kind of hard to see his face. I'll send it to my guys. There's a ring on his finger that might help. That e-mail address is clearly an alias. We'll see if we can trace it. What are you thinking? Is the girl in the picture a Desaparecida?" "I'm about to check the files now. She looks familiar for some reason. But the e-mail was definitely sent by my friend Linda." Sara swallows. "You know, the one I talk about all the time." "You positive?" "Puchi was a special code word we used. Ernesto, this is really serious and... urgent," she says. "The bad people know the e-mail was sent. They had someone in here delete it. So Linda and the other girl--" "I know," he interrupts. "I know what that means."

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