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The Road to Delano

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyondas far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, hes had to be the ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Rare Bird Books
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
In 1968, Jack Duncan is a high school baseball player. Now a senior, he has big dreams for life and baseball after high school. He is eager to leave his small town behind. Times are also hard for he and his mother financially.

During this time, Jack finds out his deceased father was murdered. Now Jack cant get it out of his head and wants to know what happened and why.

Not long after, his best friend, Adrian, is thrown in jail, and Jack must work to get him out.

Jack was an endearing character, and
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compelling story about an often forgotten part of history. John Desimone has skillfully captured time and place with his descriptive storytelling. 1968 the California central valley Jack is a high school senior determined to earn a baseball scholarship and make it out of his small town. Things have been hard for Jack and his mother after the death of his father. Resolute to save the farm Jack heads to town to sell some farm equipment when he runs across one of his fathers old friends who ...more
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thought-provoking and powerfulThe Road to Delano by John DeSimone touches on issues of justice, destiny, and equality that resonate from the time of the novel through today. A story you wont soon forget.

In the 1930s, Sugar Duncan and his new wife Shirly drive down the road to Delano and purchase land to set up roots for their family. Their son, Jack Duncan, grows up in Delano with dreams to leave it behind. When Sugar dies, Shirley is left to raise Jack on her own. Times are hard for Shirley,
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Small town politics and characters you can connect with. You are in for a treat with this book.
This was a new to me author and I was unsure about this book at first, but it was a very engaging and easy read. Well until the end a little surprise for you towards the end.
I gave this book 4 stars. Give it a try.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
The Road to Delano by John Desimone

1968 was a pivotal year for both Jack Duncan, our protagonist and Cesar Chavez, the labor leader and civil rights activist, who lead the Farm Workers strike against the Delano area table grape growers. This political climate is the backdrop for our story in this poignant and thought-provoking story.

Jack Duncan had big league dreams and getting out of a small agricultural town in Central Valley to escape a harsh life struggling and living with his mother as a
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you HFVBT, John DeSimone and
Rare Bird for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Road To Delano
By: John DeSimone

*REVIEW* ☆☆☆☆
I always find books interesting that teach me something about history that I have never heard of prior. The Road To Delano is just such a book. It's a fictional story, but there are bits of non fiction as well. The hero, Jack, is soon to graduate and has dreams of college and baseball and his girlfriend, but
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I would like to thank the author John Desimone for sending me a advance readers proof copy paperback to read.
High school baseball star, Jack Duncan is at the top of his game. Scouts are scouting at his games, his girlfriend and him have been together for a while and are talking about their futures and that all changes within a matter of moments.

Jack's father died years ago, and Jack was younger in that he doesn't remember much. His father had left on some business, and never returned. It was figured that he had fallen back into his gambling habits and got in with some dangerous men again. Jack's mother
Robin Loves Reading
Jack Duncan grew up in one of those American cities where escape is pivotal. For Jack to have any type of future, he must win a baseball scholarship in order to create a promising future. Currently, Jack and his mother's property is in jeopardy of a tax sale. With hardly any equipment left in their family farm, John's mother has been promised a check big enough to cover the tax bill and to fulfill her dream to open her own shop.

As Jack takes the long drive on the combine, passing striking
Angela Sanford
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the first that I have read by this amazing author and it definitely will not be my last! Jack is trying to leave Delano behind, but when he discovers his father's death was no accident, he knows he has to find the answers that will lead him to his killers! Filled with heartwarming emotions, as well as, dangerous situations, this great novel has something to keep each reader intrigued. I look forward to reading more of author John DeSimone's work! I was given this ARC in exchange for my ...more
David Morgan
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pub Date 3/10/2020

In this very well realized, highly researched, provocative and thoughtful historical fiction novel, we find high schooler Jack caught between a rock and a hard place. Part coming of age, part mystery and wholly captivating, this one begins with Jack's father, Sugar, setting up roots in California's fertile Central Valley. After building a successful vineyard with his wife and son, Sugar dies under mysterious circumstances leaving Jack and his mom to carry on. Ten years later
Suzy Michael
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Half part Thriller, half part Coming of Age story, The Road to Delano is a fast paced, original tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages!
Set in the 1960's in rural Central Valley, California, we meet our protagonist- Jack, at the age of 18. His dream of getting out of Delano with a baseball scholarship is derailed when he discovers his father's death 10 years prior may not have been an accident at all. And Jack will do whatever it takes to bring the murderer to
Kasa Cotugno
Initially intrigued by the premise, I eventually gave up on the uneven tempo of plot and character.
Ruth Hill
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

First of all, this is a fairly clean young adult book. There are no bedroom scenes, and all profanities are very mild and will probably no offend most people. The violence included in the book is necessary and not overly descriptive nor gratuitous.

I am not familiar with much of the history surrounding Chavez and labor unions. I appreciate the fact that this
John DeSimone
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I began working on this book in 2010. Looking back it seems like a long time. It was challenging to research, and even more difficult to write. The story came to me in little pieces. I met many California writers during my travels in workshops, and many of them contributed in ways I never expected. I remember one workshop, an elderly woman who was very quiet during all the discussions after one session took me aside. She told me her story as a young attorney working in and around Delano back in ...more
Diane Secchiaroli
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a novel set in California during the grape harvesters strike, gives an interesting perspective on the strikers lives and hardships. The historys insights are true to the times. It a story about Jack a high schooler whose family has lost all their land to an unscrupulous landowner and his efforts to right wrongs he experiences. He and his friend Adrian are obsessed with baseball and hope to use their gifts to get scholarships to college. His girlfriend Ella plans on going to college with ...more
Meaghan Hurn
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Road to Delano is an interesting read that combines historical events with fiction, characters you can relate to and small-town politics that are corrupted.

This is a compelling story with so many variables, that the author clearly researched. The narrative takes you on a journey through the turbulent days of Central California during the 1960s, enriched with the drama of fighting over water rights and gambling for someone's life. This story was a continuous growing plot that took you on a
Leigh Anne
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
**I received a digital ARC of this book from BookSirens in exchange for an honest review**

How many roads must a man walk down? Depends on the cards he's dealt.

Jack Duncan is a high school senior with a bright future ahead of him. All he has to do is impress a college scout and win a baseball scholarship. But Jack's rose-colored glasses are about to fall off when the truth about his father's death comes to light, and past conflicts escalate into present worries.

John DeSimone positions Jack as a
Amy Bruno
The Road to Delano is set between the 1930's and the 1960's in California.

When Sugar Duncan travels down the road to Delano in his Model T, he leaves behind his life in Vermont to become a farmer in California. After winning enough money to buy his land and build a new home with his true love he finally settles down and leaves gambling in the past. He becomes a leader in the community and a prosperous farmer.

After Sugar fails to return home from a business trip his wife and son, Jack, learn that
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received a digital ARC from Book Sirens"

Si se puede - Yes We Can. As an homage to Cesar Chavez, Barack Obama adapted this Spanish version of his campain slogan. Then on October 8, 2012, designated the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument within the National Park system.

Though "The Road to Delano" is a work of fiction, it brings you into the fields and homes of those affected by the Delano Grape Boycott(s). Jack, a white boy, whose father is a grower, is found dead. Adrian a Hispanic boy, whose
Lynelle Clark
An ARC copy was gifted to me by the author.

This is a compelling story with so many variables that I was amazed at how well the author had fabricated it to a perfect fit. From water rights to gamble, the story was a continuous growing plot that took you on a roller coaster ride of difficulties. With no way of knowing the outcome.

The road to Delano is an apt name for this book. The road is the backbone that brought the storyline together, almost like a tapestry, as you hurried along the dirt roads
Reeca Elliott
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tours, arc
Jack is a high school baseball player with dreams of making it big in the major leagues. However, life tends to get in the way. His best friend is thrown in jail. Plus, he finds out his deceased father was actually murdered. He must find the strength to save his family, his friend, the vineyard and see his fathers murderer in jail.

Jack is such a tough character. I enjoyed his spunk and determination. Nothing is going to stop him. I also enjoyed the wild ride the author puts you through. The
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jack Duncan lives in the small agricultural town of Delano, where he comes of age dreaming of escaping his roots. His father was a grape grower who died under questionable conditions, and his family struggles with poverty and losing the family property. Jack believes that struggle is an inherent part of his life until he stumbles upon evidence that his father was murdered, and that local corruption led to his demise.

The Road to Delano has solid roots in historical facts and Hispanic experience,
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Today I am on tour with Suzy Approved Book Tours, author John DeSimone, and Rare Bird Lit.
Jack was a little boy when his dad, Sugar, died. They said it was an accident. Although Jack's mom, Shirley, didn't believe it was, she didn't want to cause any trouble so she left it alone. She wanted Jack to move on with his life, get a baseball scholarship and get far away from Delano. Unfortunately for her, Jack inherited the need to do the right thing just like his dad.

Although this story reads like
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A first by me by this amazing author definitely wont be my last! 4.5 stars ⭐ I love historical fiction books and this book did not disappoint! Truly amazing characters so well written this author makes you FEEL like you are right there! I really liked the main character and his story. Thrilling, captivating and intriguing from beginning to end! Take The Road to Delano I insist you go for a ride! Loved it! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are mine and ...more
I took a gamble on this book. It seemed a bit outside of what I normally gravitate toward when picking historical fiction, but it focused on a time I dont often read about. So I went for it. And it was quite a ride. I binged the whole thing in two sittings.

The Road to Delano was a very interesting read. Ive been thinking about it for a few days, trying to decide who would enjoy this book and how I would explain my reading experience to people (because I dont rehash the synopsis; nobody has time
Linda Zagon
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John DeSimone, author of "The Road to Delano" has written an intense, captivating and thought-provoking novel. The Genre for this novel is Historical Fiction. The timeline for this story starts in 1930 and continues during the grape growers strike in Delano. Cesar Chavez is trying to get better conditions for the workers. The author describes his characters as complex, and complicated. There are betrayals and problems keeping and following the law.

 In 1930 Sugar Duncan drives down the "Road to
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Review

This was a fantastic read. A truly engaging story that is driven by a wonderful cast of characters that readers will be able to identify with immediately. A young man trying to keep him and his mother out of poverty as he dreams of a life outside of the small town hes called home finds himself and his friends drawn into a true murder mystery filled with small-town corrupt politics, and the author does a wonderful job of creating realistic characters that bring honesty and reality to
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you heard of Cesar Chevez? Do you know what the Delano Grape Strike is? I love books that have a good story but also are based on real life events so you can research and learn about history. I had no idea about all the political activism surrounding migrant worker labor laws in the agricultural industry. This all happened well before I was born, so it was a rabbit-hole of information that I knew nothing about.

In the story, high school senior, Jack just wants to play baseball and get out of
LitPick Book Reviews
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A high school senior, Jack Duncan dreams of playing college baseball and leaving the political turmoil of the agricultural town Delano behind. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died ten years earlier, hes suspected that his mother has been hiding the truth from him about the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

With his familys property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it. On the road, an old friend of his father shows up with evidence that
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