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by Daniel Acosta
Out of stock in hardcover. Please go to the page for the paperback edition.

Paterson Prize
Kirkus Reviews' Best YA Historical Fiction of 2018
Skipping Stones 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 ISBN1-941026-93-9
13-digit ISBN978-1-941026-93-9
Also Available InPaperback
Publication DateJune 26, 2018
Starred Review1 Stars - see reviews
RightsPlease contact Cinco Puntos Press for details about rights.
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 isn’t water, it’s iron—the 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 hobo’s murder on the four young boys.

Daniel Acosta was born and grew up in California. After a half year as a novice in the Claretian order, Daniel left the seminary and enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles. Following college, Daniel was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was discharged from the Army in 1972 and returned to CSULA to earn his teaching credential. Daniel earned a Master’s Degree from CSULA and spent thirty-four years teaching English and creative writing at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, California. A former member of the L.A. Barrio Writer’s Workshop, Daniel retired from teaching in 2007 and returned to his writing. His fiction has appeared in national print and digital periodicals. Iron River is his debut novel. Daniel is the father of four. He and his wife, Linda, live in Rosemead, California.
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 who’s 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. It’s highly recommended.”
- Beverly Slapin, September 13, 2018  Visit Website
full review >>
Booklist Online
“A powerful debut.”
- Karen Cruze, September 18, 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.”
- Frankie Firme, September 22, 2019  Visit Website
full review >>
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Iron River
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