Beast Rider
Beast Rider

Twelve-year-old Manuel leaves his small town in Mexico to join his older brother in Los Angeles. To cross the US border, he must become a “beast rider”—someone who hops on a train. The first time he tries, he is stopped by the Mexican police, who arrest and beat him. When he tries again, he is attacked by a Mexican gang and left for dead. Just when Manuel is ready to turn back, he finds new hope. Villagers clothe and feed him, help him find work, and eventually boost him back onto the train. When he finally arrives in LA and is reunited with his brother, he is elated. But the longer he’s there, the more he realizes that something isn’t right. Thrilling and heartfelt, Beast Rider is a coming-of-age story that reveals how a place and its people help to define you.

Book Details


  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
Profile Picture

In this book, Beast Rider, Manuel runs from his home in Mexico to meet his brother in Los Angeles. He does this by riding on top of a train, which is of course very dangerous. On the train, he meets people who are friendly and others who are not so much. At a stop, when he tries to get back on the train, he is caught by a gang who steals the little bit of money and food he has, beats him up, and leaves him to die. He is rescued by a nice lady who nurses him back to health, and after about a year, he is ready to go back on the train.

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