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Riding Invisible [Kindle Edition]

Sandra Alonzo , Nathan Huang
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A young man runs away with his horse to escape his troubled brother.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Alonzo’s first novel features the sort of likable, embattled narrator that brings to mind Arnold Spirit from Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), but instead of being tormented by negative stereotypes and poverty, 15-year-old Yancy’s primary source of misery comes from his nearly sociopathic older brother, Will. The story is told entirely in diary form, complete with a handwriting-styled font and plenty of cartoony drawings (again reminiscent of Alexie’s book). After Will, who suffers from conduct disorder, violently threatens Yancy’s horse, teen and horse take off into the California desert. There, they encounter a kind Mexican worker, who helps Yancy begin to size up the challenges of living with his brother and the toll that it is taking upon the entire family. Alonzo skillfully handles teetering family dynamics, equestrian details, and the undertones of immigration and class, which add realistic depth. The resolution leaves a bevy of challenges and plenty of food for thought about family dysfunction. Grades 7-10. --Ian Chipman

About the Author

Sandra Alonzo grew up in a mountainous region near Los Angeles with two younger brothers. As a child and teen she loved exploring the local trails on horseback, reading, and experimenting with photography. Ms. Alonzo, her three small dogs, and her horse currently reside in central California not far from the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

Alonzo is the author of Gallop-O-Gallop, a poetry collection/picture book about horses. Riding Invisible, with cool graphics by Nathan Huang, is her first novel for young adults.

sandraalonzoauthor.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 3042 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423118987
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion (February 14, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NNVKSG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too March 10, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Yancy Aparicio is a good kid. He stays out of trouble, he gets good grades, his parents are proud of him, but there's a catch. Yancy feels invisible. Even though his folks say all the right things about his excellent behavior, they aren't focused on him. Their attention is constantly directed at his older brother, Will.

Will has something the experts call Conduct Disorder. The way Yancy sees it, the kid is simply out of control. Will is in treatment, sees a therapist, goes to special classes, and takes meds - however, all of that makes very little difference in his behavior. He is a danger to society.

Yancy has decided to document events in a journal. He's calling it his Adventure Journal because he has decided to run away. Will's last act of violence involved Yancy's best friend, a horse named Shy. Will threatened to kill the animal. He cut off the horse's tail and viciously attacked him with a pair of scissors. Yancy has had enough.

The boy and his horse set out through the suburbs and head into the desert. Their destination is a place called Palmdale, some fifty miles from home. Yancy plans to camp out along the way, and once he arrives in Palmdale, hopefully find a job on some ranch for room and board and a stall for Shy. His only thought is to put as much distance between his horse and his psychotic brother as possible.

Despite the supplies he packed, Yancy's journey gets pretty rough. The heat, difficult trail conditions, and lack of water take a toll on the traveling pair. Before he knows it, he and Shy are in trouble. Fortunately, a Mexican ranch hand from the Triple R Ranch comes to his rescue. He convinces his boss that Yancy is his nephew and gets him a job and a place to stay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Family in Crisis May 9, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Yancy Aparico has family trouble. It's not his mom and dad that are the problem, but his older brother Will, who suffers from what the doctor's call "conduct disorder". But Yancy thinks this is just another way of saying what Will really is--a monster. The situation at home is bad; Yancy lives with constant tension and fear. His parents are trying to fix things, but Will is broken beyond repair. When Will attacks Yancy's horse, Shy, Yancy packs up his saddlebags and gallops away.

During his more than two-week adventure on the trail, Yancy faces many hardships but never considers returning home to be an option. He eventually befriends Tavo, a hand at the Triple R ranch, who guides Yancy to an understanding of his parents predicament. Life at the ranch is calm and Yancy doesn't mind the work--it's an improvement from home. But all the while, Yancy knows he must face his family situation. It's clear to him that the family can't continue to live together. His parents have run out of options and Yancy realizes they will need to make an unbearable choice--which of their children must go.

Debut author Sandra Alonzo tells Yancy's story as a journal, always writing in the open and honest voice of a teen boy dealing with a family crisis. Nathan Huang's illustrations add an authenticity to the journal and depth to the character by highlighting his playful side. Highly recommended
--Reviewed by Michelle Delisle
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Ride March 21, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Well-written, even poetic at times, this young adult novel avoids all the clichés of the modern dysfunctional family genre. Without being predictable, it's believable through-out, and easy to understand why the intelligent, likeable, and grounded 15-year-old Yancy takes drastic measures to protect himself and his horse.

This coming-of-age story about dealing with an all-too-realistic and complex family situation moves along at a quick trot, skillfully creating memorable characters and adventures along the journey.

The journalistic format, including a very cool hand-written style font, ink drawings, and page scribbles, suspended disbelief from page 1. I almost felt I was invading the private thoughts of a protagonist that even I, a 50 year old woman, could easily relate to. I highly recommend Riding Invisible for all male and female readers 13 or older, and a must-read for teen (and adult) horse-lovers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure for boys and girls alike September 15, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Author Sandy Alonzo has written a book that is sure to appeal to both boys (with its many adventures in graphic novel style) and girls (with a noble horse along for the ride.) The journal format works well, making the actions feel very immediate. Nathan Huang's illustrations are edgy and interesting, but not so slick that the reader would have a hard time believing a young boy could have drawn them. Alonza skillfully weaves backstory about Yancy's family and mentally disturbed brother in between exciting scenes in the present. In this way, readers are always moving forward to the next adventure while learning to sympathize with Yancy as we learn more and more about his tough home life. Adventure alone won't hold a reader. We have to care about the characters, and Alonzo gives us many reasons to root for her young hero. I'm sure we'll see more great work from this talented new YA author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than a "life hands you lemons" book April 21, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I couldn't put Riding Invisible down...but I had to.. to attend to other things. Found myself carving little blocks of time in my day just to find out what happens next...

This story follows Yancy when he is forced to flee his home when his mentally unstable brother physically assaults his horse. Yancy can't speak up for himself after years of being bullied, isolated, invisible...but he sure can write and draw! Told in the format of a journal penned on trail by the artistic Yancy, things go from bad to worse until he meets a sympathetic Mexican ranch hand who takes him in.

This is more than a "life hands you lemons, make lemonade" book....it shows how sometimes when we are in the middle of our deepest darkest moments, a light appears...in this case a horse, a mentor, a girl, and the seed of talent that was always within bursting forth to bloom.
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More About the Author

Sandra Alonzo grew up in a mountainous region near Los Angeles with two younger brothers. As a child and teen she loved exploring the local trails on horseback, reading, and experimenting with photography. Ms. Alonzo, her three small dogs, and her horse currently reside in central California not far from the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

Alonzo is the author of Gallop-O-Gallop, a poetry collection/picture book about horses. Riding Invisible, with cool graphics by Nathan Huang, is her first novel for young adults.

http://www.sandraalonzoauthor.com

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