On the Hook

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francisco stork  on the hook

"The passenger door to the Impala opened. Joey came out with an aluminum baseball bat. Hector tried to open the door handle, but his hand, his arm, nothing in his body responded to him."

""Fili! Gloria shouted and pointed at Joey, but before Fili could turn or move out of the way, Joey stopped as if waiting for a pitch and then swung the bat. Hector saw the back of Fili's skull sink in."

Hector is a chess champion.  Hector has plans for his future.  His brother Fili has fallen in love with a girl named Gloria and he's going to buy a home for them and move them all to a better place.  And then..... Hector and Fili run into Chavo and his stepbrother Joey and all hell breaks loose.  Fili gets out of his truck to have a conversation with Chavo so he'll understand that Fili is in love with the girl who left Chavo.  Chavo walks away from the fight.  Fili does not.........

In the court room the judge listens to the stories of Joey and Hector.  She sends both of them to a school, Furman.  Hector engineered his own path.  He said exactly what the judge needed to hear so she would send Hector to be near to Joey because Hector has a plan and that plan is he is going to kill Joey but first he's going to terrify Joey and "own" him.

This book is for every young person who is trapped in anger, trapped in what "is normal" in their world, trapped in a spiral of dysfunction and violence.  Jason Reynolds in A LONG WAY DOWN asked the all important question, "Are you coming?"  What are you going to choose?  Francisco X. Stork is writing a book that says I see you, I understand the culture you are caught in and I want you to know there is another way.

What can Furman offer to Hector? What can Furman offer to Joey? How long will it take Hector to get that perfect moment when he can get his revenge?

This powerful book could change the lives of so many young men and women who only know the path of violence and who don't yet see that they have the power to make a different choice -  to have the courage to turn toward happiness.

Francisco X. Stork clearly cares deeply about young people. He steps into their world with a knowledge and an empathy that shows he "gets" the life they are mired in, the life that looks like it only has certain pathway.  His gift here is opening up the possibility that life can be transformed into something amazing - but it takes the courage to make a different choice.  A great chance to watch someone else take the journey.

304 pages 978-1338692150 Ages 12 and up

Keywords:  Latino, Latina, Latinx, Latinx author, diversity, diverse books, brothers, revenge, violence, culture, choices, anger, emotions, hope, 12 year old, 13 year old, 14 year old

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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You know I'm coming. You're dead already."

Hector has always minded his own business, working hard to make his way to a better life someday. He's the chess team champion, helps the family with his job at the grocery, and teaches his little sister to shoot hoops overhand.

Until Joey singles him out. Joey, whose older brother, Chavo, is head of the Discípulos gang, tells Hector that he's going to kill him: maybe not today, or tomorrow, but someday. And Hector, frozen with fear, does nothing. From that day forward, Hector's death is hanging over his head every time he leaves the house. He tries to fade into the shadows -- to drop off Joey's radar -- to become no one.

But when a fight between Chavo and Hector's brother Fili escalates, Hector is left with no choice but to take a stand.

The violent confrontation will take Hector places he never expected, including a reform school where he has to live side-by-side with his enemy, Joey. It's up to Hector to choose whether he's going to lose himself to revenge or get back to the hard work of living.--from the publisher

Editor's note: This title is a re-working of BEHIND THE EYES published in 2006. 978-0525477358 14 and up

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