Beast Rider

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Beast Rider

Beast Rider

A Boy's Journey Beyond the Border

By: Tony Johnston, María Elena Fontanot de Rhoads

audio performed by: Christian Barillas, Sheldon Harnick
genre: Young Adult/Childrens - Young Adult
publication date:06/04/2019


Twelve-year-old Manuel leaves his small town in Mexico to join his older brother in Los Angeles. To cross the US border, he must become a “beast rider” - someone who hops on a train. The first time he tries, he is stopped by the Mexican police, who arrest and beat him. When he tries again, he is attacked by a Mexican gang and left for dead. 

Just when Manuel is ready to turn back, he finds new hope. Villagers clothe and feed him, help him find work, and eventually boost him back onto the train. When he finally arrives in LA and is reunited with his brother, he is elated. But the longer he's there, the more he realizes that something isn't right. 

Thrilling and heartfelt, Beast Rider is a coming-of-age story that reveals how a place and its people help to define you.