Rene Saldana, Jr. (author); A GOOD LONG WAY; Arte PA*blico (Young Adult) $10.95 ISBN: 9781558856073
Byline: Alicia Sondhi
After coming in past curfew yet again, Beto's usual argument with his father takes a violent turn. He has been threatening to run away for weeks, and now Beto takes off into the night, deserting his parents and his younger brother Roelito. In the latest novella by Rene Saldana, Jr., A Good Long Way chronicles the rest of that night and the next day, as three teens, Beto, Roe, and Beto's friend Jessy, learn that growing up can be harder than they had ever imagined.
Told in alternating point-of-views, a feature that is essential to the book's style, Saldana shows how Beto's impulsive decision stirs up deeply-held emotions in the characters, and how each has to come to terms with anger, hurt, and insecurity before they can take their next steps into the future. Beto wrestles with his guilt about the fight while he craves respect from his overprotective father. Roelito, a bright, ambitious boy, feels completely betrayed by his brother's actions, but also torn between his loyalty to his brother and his parents. A budding artist, Jessy reflects on her own misguided attempts to run away from her troubled home life. While each character experiences a unique set of circumstances, Saldana has created multilayered, meaningful parallels in their journeys. Each struggles with...