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by Daniel Acosta
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Paterson Prize
Kirkus Reviews' Best YA Historical Fiction of 2018
Southwest Book Award
1958. The people who live by the iron river are mostly Mexican.
Do their lives matter? Not to the cops.

Product Details

10-digit ISBN1-941026-94-6
13-digit ISBN978-1-941026-94-6
Also Available InHardcover
Publication DateJune 26, 2018
Starred Review1 Stars - see reviews
RightsAll Rights Available
A river runs through young Manny Maldonado Jr.s life, heart and imagination. Sometimes at night it even shoots through his brain like a bullet. But this river isnt water, its ironthe tracks and trains of the Southern Pacific railroad that pass along his tight-knit neighborhood in the San Gabriel valley just ten miles east of L.A. The iron river is everything to Man-on-Fire, Man for short to his friends, Little Man to his uncles and cousins. He watches it, he waits for it, he plays nears its tracks, he listens for the weight of its currents (strong currents flowing east pulling two hundred boxcars, light current going west with less than fifty cars), he whiles away long summer days throwing rocks and bricks at it with his friends Danny, Marco and Little. They line up cans and bottles in mock battles to try to throw it off track. But nothing derails the iron river, and nothing stops the vicious stinking cop Turk from trying to pin a hobos murder on the four young boys.
Kirkus Reviews 1 Stars
A dense story with rich associative leaps, the novel will prompt discussions about race, class, sexuality, and gender.
- August 1, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
School Library Journal 1 Stars
"An essential title for any library."
- September 30, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children
The many layers of this beautifully built-up picture of an intelligent, goofy young kid whos well aware of his surroundings and faces them head-on is a brilliant debut of a promising young writer. Iron River will prompt discussions of race, class, culture, and teenage sexuality, and resonate with middle-grade through high school readers. Its highly recommended.
- Beverly Slapin, September 13, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Booklist Online
A powerful debut.
- Karen Cruze, September 15, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
I was so enthralled at the way [the book] tugged at my heartstrings that I read it twice...the story takes the reader on a colorful & nostalgic, albeit uncomfortable at points, trip into the recent past of an American Chicano community and family. It brings forth a multitude of emotions, should you allow yourself the luxury of immersing yourself into a good book.
- September 22, 2019  Visit Website
full review >>
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