On the Other Side of the Bridge


This compelling novel for teens explores difficult subjects including the death of a parent and homelessness.

by Ray Villareal

ISBN: 978-1-55885-802-2
Publication Date: October 31, 2014
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 227
Imprint: Piñata Books
11 and up


Lon Chaney Rodriguez is a typical thirteen-year-old boy. He loves horror movies. His bedroom is a mess. He doesn’t like to read boring books. And he likes to skip church to hang out at Catfish Creek during services.

But his life changes completely when his mother is shot and killed at the apartment complex where she worked as a security guard. Life without her is unimaginable, and Lon is haunted by the feeling that he let his mom down. He didn’t prioritize his schoolwork, so he’s on the brink of failing. And worse, he lied to her.  Why didn’t he tell the truth? Why didn’t he make better grades and help more?

Lonnie’s life is turned upside down, both at school and home. The school counselor is determined to get him to talk about his mom, and the preacher’s daughter is insistent that he read scriptures to bring himself comfort. His unemployed father turns to drinking excessively and struggles to pay the bills. It doesn’t seem possible, but … will they really end up on the street like the homeless guy that panhandles at the freeway underpass?

Acclaimed author and educator Ray Villareal once again writes a fast-paced novel for teens that explores the impact of making bad choices while touching on serious themes such as death and homelessness.

Click here to listen to an interview with Ray Villareal about his book, On The Other Side Of The Bridge.