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August 23, 2008

Crossing the Wire

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Crossing the Wire

Author: Will Hobbs           

Page Length: 216

Reading Level: 4

Genre: Realistic Fiction   

PLOT SUMMARY: Victor Flores is a 15-year-old boy trying to support his family by farming corn in Mexico.  The prices have fallen so much that Victor and his mom realize they will not be able to survive in their home much longer. 

Victor’s neighbor, Rico, has received money from his brother in the U. S. to pay “coyotes” (illegal transporters of Mexican immigrants) to get him across the border (wire).  Victor has no money, but decides with his mother, that he must, too, leave Mexico and “Cross the Wire” to find work to support the family.

The story is of the long and grueling journey, which Victor endures to get north of the border.  He meets with others moving northward and they help Victor with food and travel.  He learns a lot from Miguel who has been to the U. S.  many times, but they eventually get separated.  When Victor gets caught and is sent back to Nogales, he runs into Rico.  Together the two of them do “cross the wire”.

REVIEW: This book is a relevant realistic fiction book that I believe would be of interest to the large Hispanic population in Texas schools today.  It tells of the hardships of living in Mexico, that make its residents long to move to the United States to have the chance to make a life on their own.

It also addresses how hard it is to immigrate into the U. S. since the 9/11 attack.  Hobbs uses many similes in his writing, which could be used as examples for teaching in writing.  He did an extensive background study of the area and the people before writing the book.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: Sequence of Events, Compare/Contrast, Character, Setting, Cause/Effect, Historical Context, and Predictions

RELATED BOOKS: The Crossing by Gary Paulsen, Coyotes, The Devil’s Highway, Tunnel Kids

RELATED WEBSITES: the wire.html

REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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