Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works in a taco and internet café in a poor village in Sinaloa state, Mexico. Like many Mexican villages, Tres Camarones (Three Shrimps) is almost entirely bereft of its able-bodied men, as they are almost all working in the United States. When drug dealers make clear their intention to take over Tres Camarones, high-spirited Nayeli borrows a play from John Sturges’s classic film, The Magnificent Seven: Travel north to the United States with a loyal group of friends and recruit seven brave gunfighters—her own “Siete Magnficos”—to defend their village against the bandidos.
Into the Beautiful North is a modern-day quest story set in Mexico and the United States. To succeed in their dangerous mission to save Tres Camarones, Nayeli and her friends must rely on courage, hope, ingenuity, and loyalty to each other. Combining humor and compassion, author Luis Alberto Urrea has created a novel filled with true-to-life characters and the colors, sounds, and smells of Mexico.
Into the Beautiful North was published in 2009 and is easy to read, making it a perfect book for taking a break while preparing for exams (or grading them). The Library owns three copies of the novel, and an excellent reader’s guide is available from the National Endowment for the Arts on their Big Read website. An interview with the author and an excerpt from the book are available from NPR.
The Library Book Club will discuss Into the Beautiful North on Thursday, April 24 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Distance students and faculty are encouraged to join us live via Google Hangouts, Google’s free, easy-to-use videoconferencing software. Simply click here and Google will take you directly to our discussion or prompt you first to add the Hangouts plug-in to your computer.