Teen Book Exploring Death and Homelessness Named to Recommended Reading List!

“Villareal paints a believable picture of what can happen to a family when a crisis hits and how such events can ripple throughout every aspect of an adolescent’s life.”—Kirkus Reviews

HOUSTON, TX March 2016— Ray Villareal’s young adult novel, On the Other Side of the Bridge, has been named to the 2016 In the Margins Book Award List.

In the Margins (ITM) is a committee under the umbrella of Library Services for Youth in Custody, an organization serving the needs of and advocating for those who provide library services for youth in custody, which includes incarcerated/detained/committed youth in both juvenile and adult settings, from local to federal facilities, ICE detention centers and mental health or rehab centers. The ITM committee seeks to highlight the best fiction and non-fiction titles of high-interest appeal to youth, ages 9-21, living in poverty, on the streets or in custody. The complete list of recommended titles can be found here: http://youthlibraries.org/2016-margins-official-list-0.

On the Other Side of the Bridge follows Lon Chaney Rodriguez, a typical thirteen-year-old boy. 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 her down. His life is turned upside down, both at school and home and his unemployed father turns to drinking excessively and struggles to pay the bills. 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.

RAY VILLAREAL is the author of Body Slammed! (Piñata Books, 2012); Don’t Call Me Hero (Piñata Books, 2011); Who’s Buried in the Garden? (Piñata Books, 2009), winner of Los Angeles USD’s Westchester Fiction Award; Alamo Wars (Piñata Books, 2008) and My Father, the Angel of Death (Piñata Books, 2006). He worked for 30 years as a teacher and instructional reading coach in the Dallas Independent School District. He continues to live and work in Dallas, Texas.

Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors.  Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.