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Release Date
April 25, 2023
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Caught in the crosshairs of gang violence, a teen girl and her mother set off on a perilous journey from Guatemala City to the US border in this heart-wrenching young adult novel from the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.

For seventeen-year-old Maya, trashion is her passion, and her talent for making clothing out of unusual objects landed her a scholarship to Guatemala City’s most prestigious art school and a finalist spot in the school’s fashion show. Mamá is her biggest supporter, taking on extra jobs to pay for what the scholarship doesn’t cover, and she might be even more excited than Maya about what the fashion show could do for her future career.

So when Mamá doesn’t come to the show, Maya doesn’t know what to think. But the truth is worse than she could have imagined. The gang threats in their neighborhood have walked in their front door—with a boy Maya considered a friend, or maybe more, among them. After barely making their escape, Maya and her mom have no choice but to continue their desperate flight all the way through Guatemala and Mexico in hopes of crossing the US border.

They have to cross. They must cross! Can they?

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What worked: Wowza, wow. I loved this powerful portrayal of teen Maya Silva who is uprooted from her Guatemalan home due to gang violence. Readers see talented Maya whose dream of being a fashion designer is within her grasp. Though poor, she's able to go to the very prestigious design school on a scholarship. Around her, she sees the beauty of her town until she witnesses a horrific crime that has her dreams crashing down around her.

What's a huge plus in this novel is readers see the families with their lives before fleeing to the United States. In BORDERLESS Maya's story is one that starts with the hope of winning first place in a design competition that would lead to her ultimate dream of having her own fashion shop with her equally talented mother. Then her hopes are shattered when she witnesses the boyfriend of her best friend murder a neighbor's son. Her mother is able to get a friend to help them to a coyote to help with their escape. Readers see glimpses of the border camps and the inhuman treatment these refugees go through. Powerful writing throughout.

Riveting with the vivid descriptions of Guatemala and heartwrenching when the only life Maya knows and loves is taken from her. Equally painful is when she's separated from her mother at the border. This occurrence happens so much, but to actually read what a family goes through to be torn apart is painful.

Maya is resilient, strong, and loyal to her best friend Lisbeth and even to the recently deported Sebastian who has his one secret.

Edge of your seat, gripping portrayal of a mother/daughter relationship and the determination to stay together even when torn apart at the border. Mostly though this story ends with a note of hope. This book would be a perfect addition to any high school library and for book clubs. Totally recommend.
Good Points
1. Powerful, gutwrenching tale of a teen and her mother fleeing gang violence in Guatemala
2. Insighful portrayal of the life of a teen before her life is shattered
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