Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

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Summary

Into the Beautiful North is an adventure novel written by Luis Alberto Urrea. It begins in the village of Tres Camarones in Sinaloa, Mexico, where the nineteen-year-old protagonist, Nayeli, realizes that all the men of the village have gone north seeking a better life. She is afraid that the bandidos will take over the village, since there are no men left to defend it. Inspired by The Magnificent Seven, she decides to head north and bring back seven men to protect the village.

Nayeli, and the friends that travel with her, run into trouble before they even get across the border. Their luggage is lost, their contact in the United States cannot be found, and they are caught and sent back to the deportation office while trying to sneak across the border at night.

They are provided a second chance to get into the United States through an underground tunnel and successfully make it to San Diego. They continue having adventures and meeting all types of people, both friendly and not so friendly. Nayeli even travels to Illinois to see her father, but doesn’t actually meet with him when she sees he has a new life and a new family.

Back in San Diego, Nayeli’s Aunt Irma has been advertising for Mexican men to repatriate Mexico, and is able to collect twenty-seven men, seven of which they are able to take back with them immediately. As the book ends, an army of Tres Camarones walks up the street and into the village.