Review & Giveaway: Araceli’s Path by Marion Surles

ARACELI’S PATH

Among Angels
and Devils in Juarez
by
MARION SURLES
Genre: Realistic Fiction / Border Stories / Mature Middle Grade
Date of Publication: November 30, 2019
Number of Pages: 145
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Araceli comes from a blended, dysfunctional family held together by the love of a grandmother. Rubí is being raised by a single mother who works as a prostitute. Both young girls are affected not only by their mothers’ choices but also by the violence and culture of Juarez, Mexico.
Can they overcome the cards they have been dealt, or are they destined to follow the same paths as their mothers?
Follow the lives of Araceli and Rubí from childhood to young adulthood and listen for children everywhere who are voiceless, trapped in their own cultures.
Proceeds benefit Love and Literacy
ENGLISH
SPANISH

Review

Araceli’s Path by Marion Surles is an eye opening account of life in Juarez, Mexico. While the story focuses on the plight of two young girls with mothers who neither protect nor prepare them for their cruel world, it also sheds light on the men who are often the product of their environment. With both genders, Surles shows examples of succumbing to nature and rising above. I also felt it supports the notion that family is often what you make, not what you are born into.

For a book targeted to mature middle school readers, I think that Surles does a great job of handling graphic situations honestly but tastefully at the same time. Aimed at an age when independence and sexual discovery are at the forefront, this book opens up the opportunity for dialogue about human responsibilities such as consent and obligations to one’s self, family, and community.

For a reader whose life resembles that of any of the characters within these pages, I believe that this book can provide hope that things can get better. For all other readers, I hope that this book will inspire them to find ways of helping others. While Araceli’s Path is free of any grammatical or spelling errors, I think that it could have benefited from stylistic editing to help the story flow better. I also think that the cover and page designs do not do the story justice.

I hope that Surles continues to chronicle the lives of people across the border. Perhaps she could write from the perspective of boys and men who have had to make hard choices such as leaving their families or morals behind in order to survive.

I recommend this book to teachers who equip their classrooms with stories that broaden their students’ worldviews, to librarians whose shelves are bold enough to house a book that sheds light on the dark side of humanity, and to individuals who have heard the call to action but need that last nudge of encouragement to help their fellow man.

Marion Surles was born in 1957 in Columbus, Mississippi. From a young age she was interested in learning Spanish, due to a special offering of Spanish at her elementary school. She received a BA and MA in Spanish and social work from Mississippi State University and teaches Spanish and English as a Second Language to all levels of students. She also serves as a volunteer missionary at home and in many Spanish-speaking countries. Most recently, she has formed a mission in Juarez, Mexico called Love and Literacy, which encourages reading and staying in school. Every two months, Marion travels to Juarez to bring books and literacy activities to a poor neighborhood, partnering with a local family to serve as the library. Her books are a fictional account of the lives of her students. Her Facebook page, Love and Literacy, gives updates of her work in Juarez.

Marion lives in Dublin, Texas with her husband, horses, and dogs. She enjoys
trail riding, kayaking, and camping, plus visiting with her daughters and
granddaughter nearby.

———————–
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
TWO WINNERS: Autographed copies of Araceli’s Path and Grit in
Juarez
(choice of English or Spanish), Day of the Dead shopping bag &
plate, Mexican coin purse, Mexican candy.
NOVEMBER 5-15, 2020
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.
Or, visit the blogs directly:

11/5/20

Book Trailer

Book
Bustle

11/5/20

BONUS Promo

Hall Ways Blog

11/6/20

Review

Reading
by Moonlight

11/7/20

Excerpt

Chapter
Break Book Blog

11/8/20

Top Ten

It’s Not All Gravy

11/9/20

Review

StoreyBook Reviews

11/10/20

Guest Post

All the Ups and Downs

11/11/20

Review

Forgotten
Winds

11/12/20

Author Interview

Bibliotica

11/13/20

Review

The Clueless Gent

11/14/20

Review

Missus Gonzo

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1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Giveaway, Lone Star Book Blog Tours

One response to “Review & Giveaway: Araceli’s Path by Marion Surles

  1. Fantastic review. Wow, it sounds like this book packs a very meaningful punch. Thank you for sharing it.

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