From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-- The setting for this mid-21st-Century coming-of-age story is imaginatively drawn and feasible. The continental U.S. has been hit by an ice age, and most Americans have migrated to Mexico, which has become an overcrowded megalopolis. Some of the original Mexican population have formed a Mexican Liberation Army terrorist group which wages deadly guerrilla warfare against Americans living there. High-school senior James Simpson's family has moved North in order to escape the political chaos, but James and his friend Robert (who has been recently orphaned) decide to stay with James' grandmother in Mexico. However, an MLA attack in which Robert loses a leg changes their minds. On their adventurous travel north to live with James' family, they meet up with a thrill-seeking drifter named Sunny, whose misdeeds almost get them all killed. Once the two boys reach their destination, however, they are bitterly disappointed by the desolate backwardness of life in the Northland. Robert leaves for the South, but a more mature James decides to stay with his family. The narration of the novel is from James' viewpoint as he looks back over the past year's events, but, unfortunately, the considerable plot action is slowed down by the boy's colorless and reflective tone. Despite the important political, social, and personal issues raised, the story lacks the fire that would melt the ice in James' narration. --Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
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