A Good Long Way by Rene

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"Stop it. The two of you, stop it! You're father and son; you should love each other." Roelito howls at his father and older brother as their heated argument turns into a pushing, shoving match. Beto has again come home way past curfew, and worse, smelling like a cantina.
When Beto Sr. tells his son that he either needs to follow the rules or leave, the boy--a senior in high school and a man as far as he's concerned--decides to leave, right then, in the middle of the night. Once he has walked away, though, he realizes he has nowhere to go. Maybe his best friend Jessy--a hard-as-nails girl who has run away before can help him.
The story of Beto's decision to run away and drop out of school is told from shifting perspectives in which the conflicted lives of Roel, Beto, and Jessy are revealed in short, poignant scenes that reflect teen-age life along the Texas-Mexico border.
Each one has a good long way to go in growing up. Roel fights against the teachers' assumptions that he's like Beto. Unlike his big brother, Roel is book smart and actually enjoys school. Jessy is smart too, but most of her teachers can't see beyond her tough-girl façade. Her parents are so busy fighting with each other that they don t notice her, even if she s packing a suitcase to leave. And Beto . . . somewhere along the way he quit caring about school. And his teachers have noticed and given up too.
Author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. once again writes a fast-paced, thought-provoking novel that will engage young adults in questions about their own lives and responsibilities to family, friends, and most of all, to themselves.

About Rene

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Rene Saldana, Jr. is the author of The Whole Sky Full of Stars (Random House, 2007), The Jumping Tree (Delacorte, 2001), and Finding Our Way: Stories (Random House, 2003). He lives in Lubbock, Texas, where he teaches in the College of Education at Texas Tech University.
Published October 30, 2010 by Arte Publico Pr. 128 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Good Long Way

ForeWord Reviews

A poignant, brief novel that leaves a lasting impression, A Good Long Way is a meaningful read for teens by an author with a deep understanding of the struggles and rewards of growing up.

Oct 16 2010 | Read Full Review of A Good Long Way

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