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La Linea: A Novel
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La Linea: A Novel

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,003 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Miguel's life is just beginning. Or so he thinks. Fifteen-year-old Miguel leaves his rancho deep in Mexico to migrate to California across la linea, the border, in a debut novel of life-changing, cliff-hanging moments.
But Miguel's carefully laid plans change suddenly when his younger sister Elena stows away and follows him. Together, Miguel and Elena endure hardships and
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Roaring Brook Press
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Community Reviews

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Feb 03, 2011 AGastolek rated it really liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
This is a compelling story of fifteen year old Miguel and twelve year old Elena, two siblings on a gruesome journey from Mexico to California. Risking their lives, encountering thieves, gangs, police, thirst, hunger, physical danger, wild animals, border patrols and desert storms, the children manage to reach their destination. They cross la linea and reunite with their parents. The book is written by Ann Jarmillo who developed a deep appreciation for Mexican culture, language and complex family ...more
Wandering Librarians
Miguel's parents left him and his little sister in Mexico while they went to California to start a new life. That was nine years ago. Miguel is now 15, and finally, his father has sent for him. Miguel will make the dangerous journey north to the border. It would have been hard enough alone, but when Miguel's sister Elena steals away after him, it might be impossible. Without enough money for two, they'll have to take even more risks in the hopes of reaching la linea.

This is such a slim little bo
Mari - loves to read
So this was a hidden gem ...more
May 24, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latino
Miguel is finally having the chance to cross La Linea to be with his father in America who left him behind in Mexico over six years ago. Unfortunately, his sister can’t live with being left behind by herself and hijacks his trip north. They face distressing dangers like train gangs, robbers, and Mata Gente. Along they way they need to be careful about who they can trust in order to survive and reach their dream. Appropriate for high school aged students, Jaramillo authentically tells the story o ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fast one. I read it in an evening. This is the story of Miguel, who has high hopes of crossing the border into America. His parents left him behind seven years ago, and now it is time for him to join them in the unknown world of California. He has high hopes that the crossing will go well. Little does he know the many twists and turns his journey will take.
First, he finds that his sister has followed him, then there are robbers and police, and sleeping under the stars. This short boo
Emily  Nuttall
May 25, 2014 Emily Nuttall rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-528-latino
La Linea is a story about a boy named Miguel who eagerly awaits the day when his father will send money back to Mexico so that Miguel can join his parents in California. When Miguel finally gets an opportunity to make the journey to California, he is met with many surprises and challenges along the way. Among the first of many events, he realizes that his sister, Elena has attempted to make the journey as well. Miguel and Elena grow even closer as they travel the dangerous, life or death, journe ...more
Apr 25, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
Summary: This adventurous story of a brother and sister's amazing journey across the US/Mexico border is a fictional account based on real events. Ann Jaramillo weaves sibling rivalry, sacrifice, humor, irony, and drama into a tale that both informs and enlightens the reader about the dangerous journey that many Mexican Americans have taken to come to the United States. Spanish words are used within the text to tell the story in a way in which the Non-Spanish speaking reader can use word-solving ...more
Feb 18, 2011 Anayeli♥ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I piked this book because it is really interesting topping and because the cover is a really good interesting cover and because many of my friends told me it is a really good book.The genre of this book is a Fiction because it is kind of based on a really story but the story is made up with fake characters.When the book starts the setting is in San Jasinto and and when he try to cross the line he will be in California.The description if the main character is that he turned 15 years old and that ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I read was la linea and it was written by Ann Jaramilo.It was published by Roaring Brook press in New milford, connecticut. My opinion of this book is good beause it talks about a illegeal fiffeen year old boy Miguel dreams about seeing his parents in calforina in the morning of this fifteen birthday he determined to go across the border to go north leaving his abuelia and his sister name Elena. mean while her sister Elena follow Miguel to go north with him. leaving abuleia alone at her ...more
Wilfredo G.
May 10, 2012 Wilfredo G. rated it it was amazing

Miguel is a 15 year old who lives in the town of San Jacinto, Mexico. When he was small his parents went to live in California, leaving him and his sister, Elena, behind. He had been anxious to go with his parents for many years, now the wait is over.
After Miguel realized he could’ve gone free all this time there was no time for thinking. It is going to be a tough trip, but even more with his tagalong sister with him. Crossing La Linea to the United States may sound fun. WRONG. It is filled wit
Aug 15, 2009 Barb rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young hispanic readers highly motivated to read this type of material.
Shelves: ya-read
La Linea is nominated for the Minnesota children's selection award, the Maud Hart Lovelace award. Because of this, I guess I was expecting more. Miguel and Elena have lived for years with their grandmother in San Jacinto, Mexico while their parents have lived in California. They dream of the day they will receive the call from their parents to join them, because they have raised enough money to bring them to California, although through illegal channels. The understanding is that Miquel will go ...more
Apr 15, 2012 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: thin-reads
Fine little story, but I wish it had been better. The short chapters and first person narration may allow some weaker readers to find this book, especially if they are motivated by the story of teens enduring what too many must to get to el norte. Many teens will recognize stories told by family and friends. There's danger aplenty, although I don't remember more than passing profanity.

But it only gets three stars because the characters aren't realistic enough and I couldn't really feel connected
Mar 04, 2012 Dannielle rated it liked it
La Linea was a story about 15 year old Miguel who lives in Mexico and leaves to come to California to be with his parents. He must cross La Linea, the border, to get to them. He begins his journey only to find that his sister Elena has followed him. The two of them encounter dangers on both sides of the border. Since they are crossing illegally over the border into the United States the obstacles are big and most often deadly. Elena and Miguel lose their friend, fellow immigrant, and protector t ...more
Nelson Avila
Mar 03, 2016 Nelson Avila rated it liked it
The book La Linea was overall a good book, but I dislike it because I don't like to read books of this genre or nature, but I liked it because of the theme and this book was good and an eye opener for what immigrants have to go through just to get to America, because they want to live a different way than they do now. It makes me realize that I should be grateful for what I have because other don't have that luxury that we do. Also, I dislike the book because part of it, where the characters do ...more
Feb 29, 2016 Adal added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Wagner
Dec 15, 2015 Kim Wagner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latino
La Linea tells the story of the dangerous trip North to the American border through the eyes of Miguel. Miguel and his sister Elena are making the trip north to meet their parents, who went north more than six years previously. Miguel and Elena travel on the mata gente, or people train, for a portion of their journey, then must travel across the Mexican desert. Along the way, the reader gets a small glimpse at some of the horrors that are encountered by people making their way north--muggers, la ...more
Vamos a Leer
Aug 12, 2015 Vamos a Leer rated it it was amazing
La Línea is about the journey of two young teenagers trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to be reunited with their family in California. It’s an incredibly poignant and moving novel. The trip North is hard for Miguel and Elena, and it’s not always easy to read about what the two had to endure. I certainly cried through a number of parts. It’s difficult to read about how dehumanizing and traumatic the experience is. While it’s fiction, it’s based on the lived experiences of some of Jaramillo’s ...more
Feb 04, 2015 M.cholewick rated it it was amazing
La Linea is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Miguel. The book takes the reader on the tumultuous adventure of Miguel and his sister, Elena's journey in crossing the boarder from Mexico to the United States. La Linea is a chapter book for young adults, that I would say would be most appropriate for middle school and early high school students. The book's cover page is fantastically illustrated (young boy clinging to a train), and if teaching this book, would be a great cover talk activity for s ...more
Leslie Perez
Mar 02, 2016 Leslie Perez rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Hathaway
I read this book for my graduate school class in linguistics. As teachers of English Language Learners, this book was supposed to help us to better understand our students and recognize some of the hardships that some of our students' families or our students themselves might have gone through. Overall, I think the book was a good read for young adults, but I felt like there was something missing. It was obvious that the theme of "la linea" was going to be more than just the physical border, but ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Esther rated it really liked it
Jaramillo makes several bold choices in this middle grade tale about what is involved in crossing the Mexico - US border. First, she chooses to write scattered lines of dialogue and other details in Spanish without translation for monolingual English readers. Secondly she does not flinch from showing the probability for death in this journey. She recalls this most dramatically in the nickname for the trains many immigrants use to cross Mexico: mata gente or people killer . Thirdly, Jaramillo ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Katrina rated it really liked it
This is only the second boarder-crossing story I've read. The first was a short story in a collection. This one had room to spread its wings. The story follows Miguel as he tries to leave his life with his grandmother in San Jacinto and meet up with his parents in California. Although he receives money and a solid plan from a wealthy man who owes his father, Miguel knows it is a trecherous journey. The stories of sacrifice and suffering and love in this book blend together to tell the tale of wh ...more
Mr. Z
Jul 22, 2009 Mr. Z rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle schoolers
Recommended to Mr. Z by: 2009-2010 Sunshine State Book
A 2009-2010 Sunshine State Book for Grades 6-8.

This book wasn't written for entertainment, but to inform readers what it is like to be dirt-poor, living in another country and wanting more than anything to cross the border into the promise land of America. While La Linea was a little dry for my liking, it was 100% better than Gary Paulsen's The Crossing, which dealt with the same theme of a teenager's struggles to cross the border into America. La Linea is short (broken down into chapters an ave
Jimmy Castro
The name of my book was La Linea by Ann Jaramillo. This book captivated my attention with its title. My favorite character was Miguel. The reason is that he was cool and smart about things. He was able to get his sister of his back when he needed to and was able to raise himself along with his grandma and sister in a small town. I would recommend this book to kids 12-16. It also has many Spanish words in it meaning that the words may not seem familiar. The reason I kept reading this book was bec ...more
Andrew Oliver
Nov 03, 2009 Andrew Oliver rated it it was amazing
My book was La Linea by Ann Jaramilla. During the book Miguel has a hard time because he has to leave his home land on a very dangerous trip over the border. Everyone tells him that the trip will be easy to just hop on the train they say. But they are mistaken, the trip is very harsh. Spending so much time on a train can turn you crazy but he kept his sanity. He is leaving his grandmother and little sister. I would recommend this book to people who like action books. My favorite character is his ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Ha ha. The infamous little book with Spanish in it. I'm curious by nature, and I read books word for word, even going back to read passages out loud in my head so it plays out in my mind like a play, or at least an audiobook. So it was a little slow for me to get through, since I got distracted a lot and looked up a lot of the words. I did enjoy learning a little Spanish, and it made me want to learn more. I have always been curious about the experiences of people who risk their lives to cross t ...more
Jul 11, 2010 S10_tommccormack rated it it was ok
Shelves: latino
Ages: 12 and up

"La Línea," the first book by Ann Jaramillo, tells the story of a 15-year-old boy's journey from Mexico to the United States. The book primarily focuses on the hardships that compel people to migrate and the dangers they face if they do so without papers.

The content of the book is relevant as it provides insight on the immigration debate that continues to rage in the United States. However, the characters are flat and unauthentic, the cultural and linguistic references seem force
Sep 28, 2008 Cherina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Miguel is finally called by his father to cross the border and join his parents in California. Miguel's sister, Elena is jealous though and decides to sneak to the United States with her brother. Miguel and Elena run into trouble and are taken to the Guatemalan border where they nearly escape the police but end up getting robbed at gun point. The pair is still determined to cross the border so they and their new friend, Javi, decide to jump on a train heading that way. The group runs in ...more
Jul 14, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ulises Medina
May 25, 2011 Ulises Medina is currently reading it
The most favorite character from these book is Miguel, because he is kind of like the main character and because he lives his life without his parents being there for him and he is still happy even though he doesn’t live with them. But I also have a least favorite one, that’s Juan that’s don clementes nephew and he also works for him, He is mean and a showoff just because he is part of don clementes family and because he gets spoiled, and gets whatever he wants. I was kind of able to predict the ...more
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Class of 2015: La Linea 1 4 Apr 16, 2015 10:43PM  
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Ann Jaramillo teaches English as a Second Language to Mexican-American seventh and eighth graders in Salinas, California, many of whom are migrants. LA LINEA is her first book.
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