The Only Road is an adventure story inspired by remarkably true events. Everyone in Jamie’s small town in Guatemala knows about the Alphas, a powerful gang that is violent and known for drug trafficking. When Jamie’s best friend and cousin, Miguel, is killed by this gang, Jamie and Miguel’s sister, Angela, must make a terrifying decision: stay in their home town and face the wrath of the ever-growing Alphas or flee from their country to America to live safely with Jamie’s older brother. Not wanting their children to die, Jamie and Angela’s parents agree that fleeing is the best option. The road is dangerous and filled with threats of death, yet Jamie and Angela persevere through the tough journey. Will they survive long enough to make it past the Mexico-America boarder?
Set in Central America, The Only Road tells us of one boy’s treacherous journey to a better life. Jamie, who is the main character, is one of numerous Central American children fleeing from their homes and families in hopes of making it to the United States. The U.S. promises finer circumstances than the ones they left behind. By the end of the tale, Jamie and Angela are like siblings–having endured more pain and heart-wrenching events than any teenager should have to.
This book, while mainly fiction, is true to real-life events. Reading about Jamie and Angela’s journey was an eye-opener. The horrors, loss, taunting, and lack of food they had to face was nearly unbearable. Even to this reader, it seems impossible to make it as far as Jamie and Angela did. The sad reality is that numerous immigrants don’t make it to their final destination. This book does not shy away from the details of both poverty and the treacherous journey from Central America to Mexico and onward to the United States. The author shares what adults and teenagers have to face when they risk leaving everything they’ve ever known for the hope of a better life. You will examine and re-examine your perspective on illegal immigration throughout this engaging tale.
Rating: 5 Stars
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