Irene B Hernandez Across the Great River

ISBN 13: 9780934770965

Across the Great River

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9780934770965: Across the Great River
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Fiction. "Irene Beltran Hernandez's ACROSS THE GREAT RIVER, an adventure story, will capture the interest of young readers...the great river is the Rio Grande. This is the story of the Campos family's effort to cross the river from Mexico and find what father Carlos hopes will be a better life...A compelling portrait of people working against the odds to ensure a better life for themselves and their children" -The San Francisco Chronicle.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-10-- Kata is nine or ten when her father decides to leave Mexico and try for a better life in the United States. During their attempt to cross the Rio Grande, her father is lost and her mother wounded. After her mother recovers and finds a job in town, Kata is haunted by dreams of the unsavory man who helped the family cross the river. Sure enough, he turns up, beats up the woman who cared for Kata and her brother while their mother healed, beats and rapes Kata's mother, and is conveniently killed, thus allowing the plot to meander into state custodial care for the kids and a happy reunion in Mexico for Kata's family, suddenly enriched by the discovery of a rock bearing a plenitude of gold nuggets. The issues that Hernandez attempts to deal with are ones that could surely use exposure: labor smugglers, the harshness of Mexican life that causes people to emigrate to United States, the dashed hopes, the confusion of dealing with the authorities on both sides of the river. Unfortunately, the book never rises above the level of the sort of Mexican soap opera one hears on Spanish language stations. People shriek and clutch each other to various bosoms with stultifying regularity. Tears flow in buckets, and love triumphs equally noisily. The plot relies heavily on coincidence, and the fairy-tale ending results in a neat bypassing of the problems that face those entering the United States in hopes of a better life. The inherent drama of the situation could have yielded a fine story. As it is, students might be better advised to look to nonfiction treatments of the trials immigrants face. --Ann Welton, University Child Development School, Seattle
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

"... an affecting coming-of-age tale, young Kata's narrative is direct and...its cadence evokes a sense of the Spanish language." -- Booklist

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Irene B. Hernandez
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