Posted by ssymborski on May 15, 2008
4 stars – Grabbed my attention start to finish
Author Will Hobbs visited DR Hill in 2004. He is such a down-to-earth, nice guy who clearly has a passion for writing. I read several of his books in preparation of the author visit. My favorite was Jackie’s Wild Seattle. Now my favorite is Crossing the Wire.
Hobbs is an adventurer and a lover of nature – both of these personality traits are reflected in his novels. Some of his books contain lengthy descriptions of the setting – personally I find that tough to follow as a reader. Crossing the Wire, however, is more action-packed and suspenseful.
Victor is only 15 years old. Despite being young, he must grow up quickly and become a man. Now that Victor’s father is deceased, his family depends on him for their survival. In Mexico, there are limited opportunities for children born to poor families. Victor tries to save the family’s corn crop, their sole source of income, but falling prices and outside competitors leave his family penniless and facing starvation.
Victor must do the impossible – “Cross the wire” from Mexico to the United States in order to find work. This is his family’s last hope. Victor is determined to come to America – even at the risk of his own life.
Readers will be amazed at the hardship Victor faces on his journey. Hobbs spares no punches on how difficult the voyage is – near starvation, physical exhaustion, failed attempts resulting in deportation, extreme heat/cold, dodging bullets, betrayals, poisonous snakebites (and these are only a few events in the story). What impresses me most about this novel is that it makes the reader think. This is a reminder of how fortunate Americans are – and also gives you a different perspective of why people enter our country illegally.
Baboquivari Peak – a landmark in the story. The author’s hiking expedition here inspired him to select this location as one of the novel’s settings