Riding Invisible

By Sandra Alonzo
Publisher:Hyperion Book CH, (3/2/2010)

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Everyone has to know the truth in case I get killed on the trail.  It’ll be My Escape all written and drawn WHILE IT HAPPENS.  Could be a little raw.  I’m a little raw.  

I’m going to lay low, still and quiet, blend in, harmonize with the world out there.  It’s not an easy thing to be, a boy on a horse...riding invisible.
So begins 15-year-old Yancy Aparicio's adventure journal. Tormented and abused by his older brother Will, Yancy runs away from home on the night that his brother viciously attacks his horse, Shy. With just a backpack, a flashlight, his horse, and a journal, Yancy takes to the California desert on a journey of self-discovery. There, he will learn the hardships of being homeless, experience his first kiss, and meet a Mexican laborer, Tavo, who has a thing or two to teach him about life and love.
     Debut novelist Sandra Alonzo creates an honest portrait of a family dealing with mental disease: parents who struggle to raise two very different boys, one son who cannot control his anger, and the other who must live in his shadow. Illustrator Nathan Huang captures the humor and angst of a teenager who sometimes needs more than words to make his point. In Riding Invisible, words and art come together to create a touching, funny, and wholly original story.
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"Riding Invisible"
By Sandra Alonzo

Average Rating:

This book has not been rated

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From Booklist
Alonzo’s first novel features the sort of likable, embattled narrator that brings to mind Arnold Spirit from Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), but instead of being tormented by negative stereotypes and poverty, 15-year-old Yancy’s primary source of misery comes from his nearly sociopathic older brother, Will. The story is told entirely in diary form, complete with a handwriting-styled font and plenty of cartoony drawings (again reminiscent of Alexie’s book). After Will, who suffers from conduct disorder, violently threatens Yancy’s horse, teen and horse take off into the California desert. There, they encounter a kind Mexican worker, who helps Yancy begin to size up the challenges of living with his brother and the toll that it is taking upon the entire family. Alonzo skillfully handles teetering family dynamics, equestrian details, and the undertones of immigration and class, which add realistic depth. The resolution leaves a bevy of challenges and plenty of food for thought about family dysfunction. Grades 7-10. --Ian Chipman

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