Interview with Steve Schafer

The Border

From gun violence to sexual assault. To mental illness and racism. An increasing number of YA authors are tackling tough topics. And while there are YA and MG books that have changed my thinking, or challenged my perspective- Speak. Challenger Deep. All American Boys. The Hate U Give. Dear Martin- there are few that have incited action.

Steve Schafer's The Border takes you straight into the heart of La Frontera, and Mexico's narco war. When four teenage friends-Pato, Arbo, Gladys, and Marcus-barely escape with their lives after their family and friends are brutally murdered, they begin an impossible trek across the Mexico's hottest desert. Navigating wound-inflicting cacti, relentless heat, and the watchful eyes of the Border Patrol, Pato, and his friends give illegal immigration a face.

This is one of those books that need to be in our world. This book does for illegal immigration what The Hate U Give did for the Black Lives Matter movement and what Alan Gratz's book did for refugees.

I'll lean on this book to guide discussions on empathy and compassion.

After finishing this book, you'll think again the next time you see an immigrant. And, if you're like me, you'll head straight to websites like Humane Borders or Border Angels and make a donation to help fund water stations throughout the immigration trails.

A huge thank you to Steve Schafer and Sourcebooks for providing us with an ARC of The Border, out Sept. 5! If you're looking for more information, read the Kirkus Review or visit Steve Schafer's website.

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