Into the Beautiful North


Title: Into the Beautiful North

Author: Luis Alberto Urrea

Summary: It’s not the destination – it’s the journey. This year’s One Book One Town choice is the story of 19 year-old Nayeli, a girl on a mission. All the men who live in her little village of Tres Camarones seem to have left for the States in search of better fortune. When narcos surround the town, Nayeli takes inspiration from – of all people – Yul Brynner and his movie The Magnificent Seven. She decides to solve the problem by heading north in search of men to return and protect the town. One of the men she is seeking is her own father, long ago disappeared into the beautiful North.

It might sound like a story you think you know – but trust us: You’ve never heard it like this. It’s not about the politics of immigration, but instead, the human story. As Nayeli crosses the country in the hopes of finding her father, she manages to discover her true self. Written with an indescribable verve and humor, this is an outstanding novel for mature teen readers. Nayeli and her friends are vibrant heroines (and heroes) worth spending some time with. 

Who will like this book: Mature high school readers who like stories with strong female heroines who are not defined by the men in their lives. Readers who like sensitive stories with a lot of humor.

If you like this, read this: Another great book about ‘the journey,’ Paper Towns by John Green. Someone Like Summer by M.E. Kerr.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian