To be thirteen is worthless, Trino Olivares thinks. Trino has three little brothers he’s supposed to look after, but no father he can look up to. He rules at video games, but in the classroom, and out in the real world, he’s barely getting by—just like his mom, who scarcely manages to pay the bills and feed her kids by working all the time.
Trino gets angry when he looks around at his terrible life. But when Rosca, an older teen with a vicious streak, invites him to start hanging with his crowd—and maybe make some quick money, too—Trino doesn’t know what to think. What kind of choices does he have, anyway? To run or die?
Selected for inclusion in the Houston Area Independent School Library Network Recommended Reading List for 2000
Named “Best Book of the Year” in the Young Adult Category by ForeWord Magazine
Recipient, 2001 Austin Writer’s League’s Teddy Award for Best Children’s Book
Finalist, 2001 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award
Named Best Young Adult Fiction by the Latino Literary Hall of Fame
Named to the Texas Library Association’s 2000-2001 Lone Star Reading List
“This is a dramatic and realistic contemporary novel in the tradition of Frank Bonham’s Durango Streetand Walter Deans Myers’ Scorpions.”—Booklist
“Realistic characters and settings…Skillful descriptions…Conversations are genuine…Thirteen-year-old Trino is a welcome addition in a book that deserves a sequel.”—VOYA
“Tough, gritty…will keep readers turning the pages.”—Sacramento [California] Bee
DIANE GONZALES BERTRAND is the author of several books for young adults. They include There’s a Name for This Feeling / Hay un nombre para lo que siento (Piñata Books, 2014), The F Factor (Piñata Books, 2010), Close to the Heart (2002), Trino’s Time (2001), Trino’s Choice (1999), Lessons of the Game (1998), and Sweet Fifteen (1995). A lifelong resident of San Antonio, Bertrand teaches at St. Mary’s University, where she is also Writer in Residence.
Learn more by visiting her faculty page.
JULIA MERCEDES CASTILLA, a native of Bogotá, Colombia, is the author of numerous books for children and young adults, including Strange Parents (Piñata Books, 2009), Emilio (Piñata Books, 1999), Luisa viaja en tren (Editorial Panamericano, 2002) and Aventuras de un niño de la calle (Editorial Norma, 1991), which has sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide. She lives in Houston, Texas.
Learn more at juliamercedescastilla.com.
ATOS Interest Level: Middle Grades
Category: Young Adult
ATOS Spanish: 4.7
LEXILE SPANISH: 760L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 35007