When you think of Langston Hughes, you normally think of poetry, not children’s stories.
When you think of Langston Hughes, you normally think of poetry, not children’s stories. In Boy of the Border, Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps team up to create a children’s novel just as well written as their poetry. Boy of the Border was originally published as a novella in the 1956 Jack and Jill literary magazine, but the whole novel was never published. The story centers around twelve year old Miguel Del Monte who longs for adventure. When his Uncle Mario offers him the chance to ride on horseback from Mexico to Los Angeles to sell horses, Miguel jumps at the opportunity.
Miguel has never gone on a horseback ride like this one. He has only heard stories from his 17 year old brother. On the trip, Miguel learns that life on the trail is anything but easy as they encounter bandits, sandstorms, and much more on their journey. Along the way, Miguel becomes a stronger, more confidant kid. He learns about how, in the end, perseverance and hard work pay off.
Kids who read this book will feel like they are really in the Old West. The book gives a great perspective of not only what life was like in 1910, but also gives a perspective of the Mexican culture in that time period. The book is engaging and very descriptive. One thing to consider with the book is that it is definitely for younger kids. Children ages 8-10 would enjoy this novel. Overall, Boy of the Border is action packed and will keep the reader intrigued.