Into the Beautiful North

Into the Beautiful North

A Novel

Book - 2009
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Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to theUS to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over.

Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2009
Characteristics: 342 p. ; 25 cm
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316025270


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Jul 04, 2017

Nayeli is 19 years old and lives in a small Mexican town that is peopled almost solely by women, old people, and thugs. She wants to "go everywhere and see everything," but her hopes of a life of excitement and adventure seem futile. Over the years, the men have all left for better futures in the United States. Nayeli's aunt, the mayor, hatches a plan to bring them back. Nayeli and her friends accept the mission and accomplish it with flying colors.

Into the Beautiful North is at the same time playful and sober. The characters are charming and believable -- Tacho the gay bar owner, Atomiko the Don Quixote-like trash heap king, Nayeli and her friends Yolo and Vampira. They are quirky and good-hearted and earnest.

This was a book I stumbled on in the library, and I enjoyed it very much.

Nov 01, 2016

I really enjoyed this book. While the situations in the book were a little ridiculous and over the top, it made it okay to overlook all that and just enjoy the characters. Their strength and perservearance made it worth reading. I also enjoyed the glimpses into the vast differences between life in Mexico and the U.S., both good and bad. The author isn't afraid to point out the ludicrous, but does so in such a benign fashion that it feels safe. I highly recommend this book.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 02, 2016

Into the Beautiful North was unlike any novel I’ve read before. It’s not easily classified. It felt like an award-winning piece of literature wrapped in a layer of teen fiction trying to pass itself off as a book for the general fiction crowd.

PimaLib_CinthiaT May 11, 2016

Precious will stay with you forever. I have read it over and over again. Urrea has got a way of telling this story that moves you to the bone.

Jan 14, 2016

This book was so moving I went to find every book I could on this subject. It is beautifully written by Urrea, one of my favorite authors.

Jun 25, 2015

A great read. It gives one an certain view of what it's like to grow up in a small Mexican village and why a young person might feel compelled to cross the dangerous border to the north.

PimaLib_MaryG May 06, 2015

It's hard to have a favorite among Urrea's works, but this is a contender. He captures the language so well.

mill01pj Jul 08, 2014

A zany story about illegal immigration that reveals many truths.

ChristchurchLib Sep 19, 2012

In recent years, the tiny Mexican village of Tres Camarones has been losing its men to the lure of good jobs in the U.S. Inspired by the film The Magnificent Seven, beautiful 19-year-old Nayeli decides to leave her home for "el Norte," where she plans to find and ultimately bring home seven men to repopulate and protect Tres Camarones. With encouragement from the women left behind and accompanied by three friends, Nayeli marches north (making it across the border on the second attempt), where she finds far more than she'd been looking for...

Listed in the Next Reads Fiction A to Z newsletter September 2012

LMcShaneCLE Jun 13, 2012

Enjoyed the characters and the somewhat far-fetched storyline. I think it is redeemed by some lyrical descriptions and real comprehension of the desperation on both sides of the border. Easily more of a young adult fiction title for promoting with first generation immigrants from Mexico.

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mill01pj Jul 08, 2014

A zany treatise on illegal immigration, it reflects many truths.


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