The Only Road
A powerful and timely story of immigrant struggle and the search for home.
Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous and life-changing journey from his home in Guatemala to live with his older brother in the United States in this gripping and realistic middle grade novel.
Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead.
Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed—like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: accompanied by his cousin Ángela, Jaime must flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.
Inspired by true events, The Only Road is an individual story of a boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life. It is a story of fear and bravery, love and loss, strangers becoming family, and one boy’s treacherous and life-changing journey.
World rights: Simon & Schuster (2016)
A Bank Street Best Book of 2016
Starred review in School Library Journal
“An important, must-have addition to the growing body of literature with immigrant themes.”
Pura Belpre Honor 2016
Given by the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards, the Pura Belpre honors books by Latino/Latina writers which portray and celebrate the Latino community.
Alexandra Diaz has written both YA and MG. Her debut, WHEN WE WERE, was initially published by Egmont USA, but is now available in e-book from Paper Lantern Lit’s digital imprint, Studio. She also has an MG novel – THE OPEN ROAD – out with Simon & Schuster. It is a story of the perils and stresses of illegal immigration in the USA. Besides these, Alexandra has written for various packagers.
Alexandra grew up in a bilingual Spanish/English-speaking family in various parts of the US, but has also lived in Puerto Rico, Austria, and Britain. She graduated in English and Communications at Lake Forest College in the US, but went on to receive her MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in England.
Her writing has appeared in newspapers, literary magazines, children’s magazines, foreign-language magazines, websites, and anthologies. She has also written two one-act plays which have been performed at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago Illinois and The Rondo Theatre in Bath, England.
Although writing is the only career she ever wanted, Alexandra has worked as a nanny, teacher, web designer, financial administrator, and waitress to name but a few.