The Ride
The Ride
Top Choice

In her captivating style, Nancy Demme weaves a tale of what it means to be human and growing up in deep Texas. Diego Ramirez, 15, anonymous, obsessed by fire flees his home in 1952 El Paso after torching the barn where his abusive stepfather is working. Believing he has killed the man, Diego steals his mother's life savings and hitchhikes through Texas, accepting rides from anyone who offers, a bigoted truck driver, a woman who only gives rides to children of crippled spirit, a salesman who feed Diego's dreams of success, and a lonely widow, who takes him in only to let him go. Through loss and love, redemption finds a way to help Diego unravel his crime and the crimes against him.

Book Details

Genre: 

  • Fiction
  • Special

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Nancy Cathers Demme’s book, The Ride, tells a sad story, which is so suspenseful and descriptive that it quickly grabs the reader's attention and won’t let go! In 1952, Diego Ramirez is a 15-year-old runaway who assumes he killed his abusive stepfather in a barn fire that he intentionally set. He’s upset with his mother for not protecting him better at home and decides to hitchhike all over Texas. Most of the chapters describe Diego’s experiences with people from all walks of life who pick him up along the road.

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The Ride by Nancy Demme is a book all about the morals of life and about the different people you can meet along the way. Diego, the main character, is just a young man running from the life that was shoved upon him, trying to go anywhere but home. The way that Diego travels is by walking along the road and hitchhiking whenever possible. The people he travels with along the way all reflect the different kinds of people there are in the world, from punks driving huge trucks, to accountants that are happy to talk and share a donut.

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Fire. It’s always fire. He loves it. What happens, however, when his obsession with fire results in a possible murder? This is the impossible question facing Diego Rivera, a 15-year-old, who thinks he killed his abusive step-father in a fire he caused. Now, Diego decides to run and hitchhike across unknown areas of Texas in order to avoid his fate. Escaping guilt and responsibility, however, is not as easy as sticking out a fist and catching the next ride.

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