Publication Date: October 24, 2023
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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7
Author Matt Wallace delivers a deeply moving story about two kids, Stan and Elpidia, who find hope in an unexpected friendship as they navigate challenging family circumstances in the desolate Southern California desert. Perfect for fans of Ernesto Cisneros and Julie Murphy.
Growing up in the middle of nowhere can make you feel like nowhere is the only place you belong.The isolation and bullying Stan suffers at school are nothing compared to the war at home. After he tries and fails to defend his mom by standing up to his abusive father, Stan decides there is only one solution to finding a new self-confidence: he must learn how to fight.Tragic events have split the two sides of Elpidia’s family into fighting factions. Every day she finds herself outnumbered by her cousins on the schoolyard. After the latest beatdown, her grandmother makes a decision: Elpidia must learn how to defend herself.Stan and Elpidia seem like total opposites, but when they both wind up with the same infamous and reclusive trainer, they find an unexpected and beautiful friendship as they work together to overcome their bullies. But when Stan gains the attention of a powerful gang leader, it threatens to pull him away from his new best friend. Will their dreams for the future be enough to get them out of this small town?
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