Book review: Malín Alegría’s “Border Town: Crossing the Line”

We have our beach reads, so why shouldn’t our teens?

I was so excited to see this post from The Hispanic Reader on Malín Alegría’s new book.  While some may say a series modeled after the Sweet Valley High novels isn’t what we want our teens reading, I disagree.  While I never read much Sweet Valley High, I certainly tore through every single book in The Babysitters Club series.  To me, a teen reading is a teen reading–not facebooking, watching youtube, or gaming.  Not that I have anything against those things, but I’m always excited about a book that will get teens interested in reading as well.  It looks like this one may do just that.

Check out some of Malín Alegría’s other great books.  If you like her work, definitely check back later in the year–Our Vamos a Leer book group is highlighting another novel by Alegría, Estrella’s Quinceañera, this coming February, and we’ll be posting some great resources for using it in your classroom!

The Hispanic Reader

Malín Alegría provides something the book world badly needed – a great young adult novel depicting Latino life.

Border Town: Crossing the Line(Point/Scholastic) is the first in a series of books modeled after the popular 1980s series Sweet Valley High, which followed the lives of two high school sisters living in California. Border Town features Fabiola Garza and her sister, Alexis, as they attend high school in the small (and fictional) town of Dos Rios in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Even though Alegría lives in California, she perfectly captures the Valley beyond the characters’ meals of menudo and pan dulce. Here’s a line when Fabiola runs into her old Sunday school teacher while she’s buying personal items: “This was exactly why she hated living in the Valley. You couldn’t do anything without running into someone you knew!” (I used to live in the Valley, and…

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