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Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
Into the Beautiful North begins in the Mexican village of Tres Camarones, where the men have all left to find work in the United States and have never returned. When drug traffickers move into town, the women have nobody to protect them. Nayeli, a 19-year-old woman working in a taco shop, sees the movie Magnificent Seven and decides to go to the U.S. and find seven men who will save their village. Joining her quest is the gay owner of the taco shop and two of her girlfriends. They set out for Tijuana first and make their way across the border from there. Along their way, they learn about their own country as well as the States, and Nayeli hopes to finally find her father who left years before. Luis Alberto Urrea's novel has received positive reviews with the Dallas Morning News saying, "Here is a funny and poignant impossible journey in which the characters come to earn pride for a homeland they have gone on a comedic pilgrimage to defend. Into the Beautiful North is a refreshing antidote to all the negativity currently surrounding Mexico, with its drug cartels, police-abandoned cities and killer flu."