Thirteen-year-old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles. An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil's Fire marble. His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him. This is Izayoc, the place of tears, a small pueblo in a tiny valley west of Mexico City where nothing much happens. It's a typical hot Sunday morning except that on the way to church someone discovers the severed head of Enrique Quintanilla propped on the ledge of one of the cement planters in the plaza and everything changes. Not apocalyptic changes, like phalanxes of men riding on horses with stingers for tails, but subtle ones: poor neighbors turning up with brand-new SUVs, pimpled teens with fancy girls hanging off them. Boli's parents leave for Toluca and don't arrive at their destination. No one will talk about it. A washed out masked wrestler turns up one day, a man only interested in finding his next meal. Boli hopes to inspire the luchador to set out with him to find his parents.
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by Christian Giudice
by Matt Burgess
by Jorge Ramos
by Roger Rosenblatt
by Mario Benedetti
by Mike Lowell, Rob Bradford
by Cristian de la Fuente
by Kelly Palmer, David Blake
by Cristina Pacheco
by Bonnie Hagemann, Simon Vetter, John Maketa
by Andres Neuman
by Gina Lake
"Diederich's story is written from the perspective of a teenage boy whose sleepy Mexican village is being taken over by drug money. Narrator Ozzie Rodriguez sensitively portrays Bolli's confusion, fear, and anger as he witnesses the changes encroaching upon his village, which threaten the security of his friends and family. Rodriguez's narration reflects the atmosphere in the story, beginning with a slightly slower pace to describe the village, then building as violence and emotions escalate, and, finally, slowing to the conclusion. Because he provides no vocal character differentiation, there are times when it's difficult to tell who is speaking. But that lasts only a moment, and the listener is pulled back into this gripping story. L.M.A. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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