82 pages 2 hours read

Alexandra Diaz

The Only Road

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2016

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The Only Road

  • Genre: Fiction; middle-grade realistic
  • Originally Published: 2016
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 830L; grades 4-8
  • Structure/Length: 24 chapters; approx. 320 pages; approx. 6 hours, 49 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Jaime, 12, and Ángela, 15, are cousins in Guatemala. When a gang murders Ángela’s brother and tries to force the two to join them, Ángela and Jaime begin the long, dangerous journey to the United States, facing arduous challenges with fierce hearts.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Murder; sexual violence; racism; gang violence; corruption and brutality by police/officials; children in danger; cruelty to animals

Alexandra Diaz, Author

  • Bio: Daughter of Cuban refugees; earned MA in writing for young people from Bath Spa University; teaches creative writing and circus arts; member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; translates her books into Spanish with her mom; won International Latino Book Award gold medal and ALA Notable Children’s Book for Santiago’s Road Home; won first place at International Latino Awards for The Crossroads
  • Other Works: Falling Hard (2013); The Crossroads (2018); Santiago’s Road Home (2020)
  • Awards: Pura Belpré Honor (2017); Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (2017)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Drug Trade’s Impact on Central American Families and Children
  • The Experience of Migration
  • Compassion