Border Crossing

Young Readers

Border Crossing

“A thought-provoking exploration of mental illness.” —KIRKUS
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Manz is sure of one thing: he lives on the wrong side of the tracks in dusty Rockhill, Texas. Life is tough for everyone—his hard-drinking mother, her truck-driving boyfriend, even his privileged friend Jed—but especially for Manz, the mixed-race son of migrant apple pickers. If he could only get out of town, his life would be better.

When the summer heat sets in, Manz and Jed take a job rebuilding fence for a cattle ranch outside town. There he meets Vanessa, who works in the ranch’s kitchen. The two hit it off, but Manz isn’t sure he can trust her. As the dog days drag on, Manz must negotiate an unwieldy terrain involving his unpredictable mother, a best friend whose father uses him as a punching bag, and a simmering, creeping delusion that “Operation Wetback”—which brutally relocated illegal aliens deep in Mexican territory following World War II—has been put back into effect. Manz’s bright and questioning mind begins to give in to its own claustrophobic temptations as he finds guidance in the voices that have been growing louder and more insistent each day.

A revealing look a one young man’s struggle with identity and the effects of schizophrenia.

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5.25 × 8.875 × 0.5 in
7.3 oz

Jessica Lee Anderson is the author of CalliBorder Crossing, and Trudy, winner of the Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature.

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