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Border Crossing

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The mixed-race son of apple pickers, Manz lives with his hard-drinking mother and her truck-driver boyfriend in the hardscrabble world of dusty Rockhill, Texas. Forced to take a summer job rebuilding fence of a cattle ranch, Manz works alongside his friend Jed and meets a girl named Vanessa — but even among his friends, Manz suffers from an uncontrollable paranoia. As the ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Milkweed Editions (first published October 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Taylor Winters
At first it seemed to be about one thing, Mexican struggles, trying to fit in an uncommon bi-racial society, but then things started to get crazy. I almost believe what I read as Manz believed what he heard. The ending was a twist, but only slightly predictable. I would have preferred a more detailed future in the ending, but it's satisfying enough. This book reminds me of the first story, "The Hitchhiker", in More Horowitz Horror, as well as a book I remember reading a long time ago: How To Dri ...more
Katrina Burchett
Isaiah Luis "Manz" Martinez was born to a teenage mother, whose father disowned her not because she got pregnant so young but because she was carrying a Mexican's child. Manz is Mexican and Caucasian. His father, Adres "Loco" Martinez, passed away and so did his half-brother, Gabriel. Now it's just him and his mother, Delores, and her man, Thomas, whose job as a truck driver takes him away from home a lot. Manz and his family don't have much to live on, so he does his part by taking on a summer ...more
This is a sensitive and accurate portrayal of a young person's struggle with schizophrenia. Having once been friends with a 20-something who suffered from this illness, I recognize the tedium and frustration of the main character's friends and loved ones trying to relate to his burgeoning paranoia and delusions. This is not a romantic illness by any means. Mostly, the sufferers delusions are obsessive and get very boring. This eloquent little novel managed to convey that very well, in spite of ( ...more
Lisa Gibson
To represent a young adult with mental illness in a book can be challenging. To depict them beautifully and with any kind of honesty is even more difficult. However, that is exactly what Ms. Anderson winds up doing. She masterfully writes about the frightening descent into schizophrenia. Soon enough we feel Manz's terrifying paranoia that everyone is out to get him. His fear of being deported, despite his being a legal citizen is crippling him. Manz's family does not discuss their problems. His ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Melanie Foust for

Manz's summer starts off regularly enough. Listening to his mother, Delores, come home drunk at night. Getting short-term jobs at ranches in the area with his friend, Jed. Then strange things begin happening.

He starts hearing voices, and they won't stop. They begin telling him what to do, and he starts listening. They tell him that people are after him. He's on the watch, constantly on edge. The border patrol will come to get him any day now, and eve
Jul 09, 2011 Jennie added it
Age: YA

Genre: realistic fiction

Diversity: cultural; psychological

Illustrations: None

Personal Response: While I thought it was well written this was a rather depressing story. The subject matter itself, paranoid schizophrenia, is a depressing one and having a first person perspective into a young mans first psychotic break is fairly harsh. Having said that, life can be fairly harsh and I don't think the the material is inappropriate for a teenager.

Curriculum: This book could be used as reading ma
I read Anderson's latest book in less than two hours during my lunch yesterday and today. After I stopped reading yesterday, I wished I had saved it for a quiet weekend at home. I was completely drawn into the story and when I finished the book today, I felt a bit like I was walking out of a dark movie theater--it took some adjusting.
Border Crossing is for an older audience than Anderson's previous book, Trudy. This is a darker book that takes the reader into the main character's mind, which is
It was really interesting and alluring reading through the main character's point of view, knowing he has schizophrenia and recognizing it in his thoughts and actions. I really liked how Jessica Lee Anderson didn't limit the in-detail conflict to just him. The ending was kind of sad-ish, though, just because I always hope unrealistically for a beautiful, perfect ending, and this ending was just a little unsure, uncertain. I guess the ending wasn't sad-ish, just I was because it wasn't happier.
Review: An interesting look at the life of a teenage guy living in Texas. This novel deals with issues like alcoholism, class differences, illegal immigration, and child abuse.

Final verdict: Not the happiest story, but a decent read.

May 24, 2010 Susann rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Susann by: ALA Midwinter
I can't accurately review this, because it's just too painful to read about someone developing paranoid schizophrenia. I found myself skimming over some of the voices-in-head moments. I really felt for Manz, though.
Kind of like reading The Bell Jar, in that reading about a person descending into schizophrenia tends to make ME feel like I'm going crazy too.
Elizabeth Tatro
Intense book. Definitely started messing with my head. Ending was a little weak. Plot not as developed as I would've liked.
Laura Koepp
A good description of mental illness (paranoid schizophrenic). It was a quick read - with a realistic ending.
Great! And I NEVER want to be a paranoid schizophrenic!

That brain is a hard place to live in!
Book 30 for 2009!
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I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, although my family didn't stay there long.

My father served in the Air Force and we soon moved to Texas. Honolulu,
Hawaii was our most exotic station. I'll never forget the excitement of
winning a hula competition. Those who know me now would never guess I
had that kind of coordination.

When we moved back to San Antonio, Texas, I missed the Aloha State, but
books served
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