The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz 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.
In this story it is two children (12 and 15) travelling alone with only names, maps, information and money sewn into their clothes that take the treacherous journey from Guatemala to the U.S. When Angela’s brother and Jamie’s cousin Miguel is killed by the local gang because he refused to join them, the family believes the only way to keep Angela and Jamie safe is to get them away from Guatemala. Tomas, Jaimie’s brother, lives in New Mexico, so that is their destination. The journey is dangerous, but they go anyway. They meet other children on the way and they become friends. They rescue a dog, near death from the dog fights and nurse her back to life. They work sewing and drawing portraits to earn even more money to get safe passage across the border. Unfortunately, out of the small group of five children travelling together, they are the only ones to make it. We so not find out exactly what happens to the others, but from what is happening in the story, we can imagine. This journey took courage, guts, a little naivite and luck to get to their final destination. Many try and do not make it, many try multiple times, many disappear or are killed. A very hard story to read.
This book should be read by all students to help them understand the plight of refugees and immigrants. It should also give them an appreciation of what they have and how they live.
I received this book from Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.