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Review and Giveaway: Into the Beautiful North

June 16, 2009

Into the Beautiful North 2

Nayeli and her friends Yolo and Vampi seem to be the only young people left in their small village, Tres Camarones, Mexico.  All of the men have gone north (to the United States) to earn a living, so there’s no one left to protect the village from bandidos.  While Nayeli and her friends are out crabbing one day, she realizes there are no babies in the village either.  While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli becomes inspired to head north to recruit seven men to return to Tres Camarones to defend the village.

Nayeli heads out with Yolo, Vampi and Tacho, the owner of a local cafe.  They leave with the well wishes and money of most of the villagers.  (Nayeli also has a personal mission she wants to fulfill – she wants to find her father who is in Kankakee, Illinois.)  They face some difficulties crossing the border and seek out Matt, a young American who had visited their village as a missionary a few years before.  Matt is willing to help them and when word gets out that they’re seeking men to return to their village, the response is overwhelming.

I loved Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea and am afraid my review won’t do it justice.  It’s a story of strength and determination and the love of a culture and village.  It’s the story of immigrants, but not in the traditional sense of the word.  I loved the character of Nayeli – she was strong physically and mentally and a true leader.  I was appalled to read about the way some people have to live just across the border in Mexico.  I loved reading about the United States from the eyes of someone from another culture.  When Nayeli and her friends descend on Matt, he’s ready to apologize because his mother’s apartment is not very nice, but he comes to realize they think it’s luxurious.  I cringed at the way some of the Americans treated the group from Tres Camarones and was proud of the way others responded.  This book is beautifully written and will certainly make you reflect on your views of immigration.

I have an extra, unread galley of Into the Beautiful North to give to one lucky reader. To enter this giveaway,  simply leave a comment on this post.  Contest is open worldwide.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EST, Sunday, June 28, 2009.  Winner will be announced on Monday, June 29, 2009.

109 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2009 7:15 am

    I have heard so much good about this book. I have to read it now. I would love to win it.

    I’m glad you finally got the book from my giveaway, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  2. Debbie permalink
    June 16, 2009 7:32 am

    I have read some great reviews on this book. Please include me in your giveaway.

  3. June 16, 2009 7:35 am

    I wasn’t grabbed by the description of the book and now I regret it. Everyone loves it so much, and I wish I’d gotten a copy too! So count me in!

  4. June 16, 2009 7:36 am

    I’d love to read this.


  5. June 16, 2009 7:44 am

    The story sounds very interested please add me to the giveaway.

  6. Julia permalink
    June 16, 2009 8:00 am

    Sounds really interesting. I want to win that book! 🙂

  7. June 16, 2009 8:08 am

    I would love to win this. 🙂

  8. June 16, 2009 8:10 am

    This does sound a lovely book. Can I please be entered.

  9. June 16, 2009 8:11 am

    This book and its author seems to be making waves all over the place. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I want to read it now.

  10. June 16, 2009 8:24 am

    This is one I’ve been wanting to read.

  11. June 16, 2009 8:38 am

    You know I agreed with you about this book! I definitely enjoyed it, and the writing was spectacular! I think your review was great!

  12. June 16, 2009 8:47 am

    This sounds like an intriguing book that I definitely want to read. Add my name to the drawing please!

  13. June 16, 2009 8:48 am

    You don’t have to enter me because supposedly it is coming to me also. We only live a short way from the border and I have been across once. I wanted to leave after maybe two minutes! It was very depressing. I am so looking forward to reading this book!

  14. Julie333w permalink
    June 16, 2009 9:12 am

    Sounds like an interesting book. Please enter me. Thanks!

  15. June 16, 2009 9:14 am

    This sounds like a book that I would enjoy….please enter me!
    joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

  16. June 16, 2009 9:20 am

    After reading your review, I can’t imagine anyone NOT wanting to read the book. I especially love books that make me see my life from a different viewpoint.

  17. Carol M permalink
    June 16, 2009 9:21 am

    I’ve heard that this book is good! Thank you for the chance to win it!
    mittens0831 AT

  18. June 16, 2009 9:22 am

    Please enter me. I would love to read this book. Thanks!

  19. June 16, 2009 9:33 am

    I loved this book! Great review!!

  20. stacybuckeye permalink
    June 16, 2009 9:39 am

    Great review! I’ve got this on my wish list, so sign me up 🙂

  21. June 16, 2009 9:44 am

    Thank you for the chance to enter! I love a good read.

  22. June 16, 2009 9:51 am

    This sounds really interesting, I’d love to be entered! Thank you!

    luckistarr4 AT gmail DOT com

  23. June 16, 2009 10:02 am

    I love the cover of this one. I’d love to be entered. Thanks!

  24. June 16, 2009 10:15 am

    no need to enter me since I have that lovely audio from BEA. But your review makes me want to push this to the top of the to-read pile. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    He was wonderful in person.

  25. June 16, 2009 10:24 am

    I’m so glad you liked it. Don’t enter me though. I have a copy and now I really look forward to reading it.

  26. Heather S permalink
    June 16, 2009 10:33 am

    Looks like a lovely read, enter me pretty please!

  27. June 16, 2009 11:08 am

    me toooo. Please enter me Kathy…

  28. June 16, 2009 11:08 am

    Great review Kathy. I’d love to read this one so please enter me.

    bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

  29. thekoolaidmom permalink
    June 16, 2009 11:15 am

    Hehehe… June 29th is my birthday, that’d be funny to win on my birthday.

    Living where I do, I know and am friends with a lot of hispanic people who’ve come north to find a better life and/or to make money to help their families back home live a better life. To sit down and just talk with them often leaves a person with a new found respect and admiration. Like you said, it is heartbreaking to think about how some people have to live, and if forces you to redefine “poverty.”

  30. June 16, 2009 11:19 am

    No need to enter me (although I’d love to read this). I’m dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I’ve got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  31. June 16, 2009 11:36 am

    I would love to have a chance to read a book that you are so excited about. I also appreciate any book that does a great job of enlightening readers to social injustice/inequalities. Thanks for the chance.:D

  32. June 16, 2009 12:22 pm

    Great review! No need to enter me. I already have the book and loved it, too.

  33. June 16, 2009 12:27 pm

    (No need to enter me)

    I really liked this book, too! I think you read my review. It is a rather difficult review to write.. I agree. It’s a wonderful story.


  34. June 16, 2009 12:28 pm

    I thought your review was very well-written and really touched on some things that we take for granted. It’s always eye-opening to see it from someone else’s perspective. I heard a lot of good buzz about this book and would love to read it whether I win it or not!!

  35. June 16, 2009 12:50 pm

    I pretty much agreed with you although I found a few flaws. I’m surprised that we mention some of the same things in our reviews — those were definitely some of the great strengths of the novel.

  36. June 16, 2009 12:55 pm

    I bought a copy of this at the book festival this spring and am looking forward to reading it. I am glad you enjoyed it so much, Kathy!

    No need to enter me in the giveaway.

  37. chey permalink
    June 16, 2009 1:08 pm

    Into the Beautiful North sounds amazing! Please count me in.

  38. Mary D permalink
    June 16, 2009 1:19 pm

    This sounds like a beautiful read 🙂 Please count me in to win and thank you!

  39. June 16, 2009 2:16 pm

    Sounds like a great book. Please enter me as I’d love to win. jessica(at)fan(dot)com

  40. June 16, 2009 3:17 pm

    The reviews I have read about this book are so positive, I would really like to read it. Please count me in. Thank you.

  41. Sharon Walling permalink
    June 16, 2009 4:21 pm

    I have seen quite a few great reviews on this book. Makes me want to read it more.

  42. June 16, 2009 4:38 pm

    Looks like a good read, please enter me into this drawing.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

  43. Julie permalink
    June 16, 2009 4:53 pm

    I love the cover! Please enter me!

  44. Teresa W permalink
    June 16, 2009 5:17 pm

    I’d like to be included!

  45. June 16, 2009 5:40 pm

    This book sounds pretty great, count me in.


    And belated congrats on your blogoversary!

  46. Mark Freeburg permalink
    June 16, 2009 5:50 pm

    I have heard so much about this author. I just ordered a copy of “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” and would love to receive his latest. Thanks!

  47. June 16, 2009 7:43 pm

    I saw this book months ago and thought it sounded good. I love books that allow me to see through the eyes of another culture.

  48. June 16, 2009 8:04 pm

    Please enter me. Sounds great!

  49. June 16, 2009 8:08 pm

    This one sounds so good! Please enter me in the giveaway.

  50. June 16, 2009 9:43 pm

    You convey your genuine love of the book, that’s all that counts. You have me sold. Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to win this one. The story must be fascinating. Besides I have a little second grade student with Nayeli as a first name. I love the name. 🙂

  51. June 16, 2009 10:58 pm

    oh man! This sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  52. Renee G permalink
    June 17, 2009 12:26 am

    This is the first time I had heard of this book, but it sounds likes an endearing story.


  53. June 17, 2009 12:32 am

    Please enter me. I’ve been really wanting to read this one. Thanks!


  54. June 17, 2009 8:51 am

    I’d love to win a copy of Into the Beautiful North. I returned my copy to the library without having finished it 🙂

  55. June 17, 2009 9:20 am

    I have this on audio, and your review makes me want to listen to it right now. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. No need to enter me, of course.


  56. June 17, 2009 10:33 am

    No need to enter me (of course) but I’m really glad you enjoyed this book so much!

  57. June 17, 2009 11:25 am

    Totally ashamed that this is (I think) my first comment on your blog, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to be in the running for this book. I’ve been watching all the chatter about it on Twitter and even ALMOST bought a copy the other day but the hardcover price dissuaded me. Thanks for reviewing it and sharing your galley bounty!

  58. June 17, 2009 11:27 am

    I almost bought this one the other day – would love to win a copy!!!! Count me into the contest *fingers crossed*

    P.S. I loved your review of this one!

  59. Karina Worlton permalink
    June 17, 2009 11:32 am

    I’d love to read this. Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  60. stilettostorytime permalink
    June 17, 2009 12:31 pm

    Love to have a chance! Thanks for the giveaway!


  61. June 17, 2009 2:18 pm

    Oh, this one’s been on my wish list. Definitely add me!

    bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

  62. Cindy V permalink
    June 17, 2009 3:46 pm

    I love a chance to win this! It sounds like a great book.

  63. Paula permalink
    June 17, 2009 5:21 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful read.

  64. Paula permalink
    June 17, 2009 5:26 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful read.

  65. June 17, 2009 7:09 pm

    I’d love to win a copy!

  66. June 17, 2009 7:10 pm

    Sounds terrific!

  67. June 17, 2009 8:02 pm

    Please include me. Sounds interesting.

  68. Belinda McNabb permalink
    June 17, 2009 8:49 pm

    Please include me in your giveaway

    “Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Fun:”


  69. June 17, 2009 9:10 pm

    Would you please enter me? Thanks!

  70. June 17, 2009 9:14 pm

    This sounds very interesting. Great review!

  71. kingducky permalink
    June 18, 2009 1:07 am

    Read the review on the book. Great work. thanks for giving us a chance to win it too 🙂 so please add me in and pick me. 🙂

  72. June 18, 2009 7:38 am

    I’d be delighted to win!

  73. June 18, 2009 9:03 am

    This ones sounds like the type of book I’d love. Thanks for these great giveaways!

  74. Michelle E. permalink
    June 18, 2009 9:21 am

    I would love to read this — thanks for the review and chance to win!

  75. June 18, 2009 12:35 pm

    I would love to win a copy of this book!

  76. Glenn permalink
    June 18, 2009 12:46 pm

    Looks like a great book! I’d like to drop my name in the virtual hat. Thanks.

  77. June 18, 2009 1:18 pm

    Your review did it justice ….I am compelled more than ever to read. So Please enter me. Thank you.

  78. ALLY in WA permalink
    June 18, 2009 7:42 pm

    I have heard a lot about this book and it has been on my TBR list for awhile. I’d just love to win a copy!
    Thanks for the chance.

  79. Anita Yancey permalink
    June 18, 2009 8:17 pm

    This sounds like a book I’d be very interested in. Please enter me. Thanks!

  80. linnahsu permalink
    June 18, 2009 8:43 pm

    Many bloggers have talked about this book. I’m really interested in this book. Please count me in. 😀

  81. June 19, 2009 10:50 am

    I’m absolutely dying to read this, I wish I’d requested a galley when I had the chance. I’d love to win it, but if I don’t I’ll be getting it from the library no matter what.

  82. John permalink
    June 19, 2009 12:00 pm

    For me, the book was a page turner. It had an interesting plot and narrative and provided a lot of insight into Mexican culture. I was also able to see some of the writer’s craft at work in the choices Luis made to carry the story along. Because I enjoyed the novel, I hesitate to equivocate, but the tunnel and Matt’s mother’s house parts were not real believable.I found your comments to be quite judicious and I agreed with them. I heard him on NPR and plan to check out more of his work.

  83. June 19, 2009 7:48 pm

    I would love to win this book. Thanks for the opportunity. 🙂

  84. June 19, 2009 11:47 pm

    Into the Beautiful North has been on my radar for awhile. Would love the chance to win!

    kherbrand at comcast dot net

  85. June 20, 2009 12:10 am

    Please sign me up! This sounds excellent!

  86. Rachel permalink
    June 20, 2009 9:13 am

    I’m really enjoying your reviews and finding all kinds of new books to read and discovering new authors. I just need to find more time to read!

  87. June 21, 2009 10:29 am

    I’d love to participate! Thanks! =)

  88. June 21, 2009 1:27 pm

    Your review is wonderful – I can’t wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  89. June 21, 2009 1:27 pm

    Don’t enter me for this I won a copy already =) I just wanted to say I loved the review and I’m really looking forward to reading it!

  90. June 21, 2009 3:33 pm

    This is one I have on my wish list. I’d definitely love to win it!

    whitreidsmama at

  91. June 22, 2009 3:41 pm

    Would love to win this one 🙂

  92. June 22, 2009 4:41 pm

    Love to win this!

  93. June 23, 2009 7:01 am

    I have heard such wonderful things about this book! Please enter me in your giveaway!

    quzy (at) mac (dot) com

  94. June 23, 2009 8:13 am

    This one sounds really interesting. I like your comment about seeing the US through other eyes. Sometimes I do wonder how people really view us.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  95. June 23, 2009 8:56 am

    Would love to win Into the Beautiful North; I’ve been reading books lately about Mexican nationals coming to the U.S.

  96. June 23, 2009 8:59 am

    I would love to wind “Into The Beautiful North.” Thanks for entering me.


  97. Emma permalink
    June 23, 2009 2:04 pm

    Into the Beautiful North sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the drawing.Thank you.The review for this book is good.

  98. June 23, 2009 6:40 pm

    I would love to win what sounds like a wonderful novel.

  99. Alicia permalink
    June 24, 2009 2:56 pm

    This sounds like a fascinating book. Please enter me!
    bluebyrd24 at gmail dot com

  100. Amy permalink
    June 24, 2009 3:06 pm

    This book sounds too good to pass up!

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!


  101. Angelica King permalink
    June 27, 2009 8:10 am

    Would love to win this book! Please enter me! Thank you!

  102. June 27, 2009 9:36 am

    Even though this is not about Michigan (LOL!), I would love a chance to win this galley. Thanks for the contest, Kathy!

  103. elizabeth permalink
    June 27, 2009 9:57 am

    Been eyeing this book every time I pass my local bookstore, it hurts. Would love to read this.

  104. Brenda Croucher permalink
    June 27, 2009 10:26 am

    I love books about other cultures and the struggles that the people face. I would love to read this book!

  105. cenyasmom permalink
    June 27, 2009 6:09 pm

    This book sounds very interesting, please and
    thank you for this giveaway.

  106. June 28, 2009 1:52 am

    I would love to enter.

    Thank you!

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  107. June 28, 2009 10:03 pm

    your review is very precise and descriptive

  108. ChristineB permalink
    June 29, 2009 9:04 am

    Sounds like a thought provoking read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  109. Rochelle permalink
    June 20, 2011 3:12 pm

    Hopefully I’ll get to read it 🙂

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