Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Saint Death

Saint Death

A Novel

Marcus Sedgwick

Square Fish

BUY THE BOOK

A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border, by an acclaimed, three-time Printz Award honoree.

Crafted with poetry and cinematic pace and narrated with cold fury, Saint Death is a provocative tour de force from three-time Printz Award honoree Marcus Sedgwick.

On the outskirts of Juarez, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo's help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past.

Hovering over his story is the unsparing divinity Santa Muerte, Saint Death—and the relentless economic and social inequalities that haunt the border between Mexico and its rich northern neighbor.

Praise for Saint Death:

"A timely but unflinching look at the distressing impact of drugs on the U.S.–Mexico border. . . . Readers will be both devastated and inspired by Arturo’s devotion to Faustino and his faith in Santa Muerte." —Kirkus Reviews

"The formatting and language underscore that this is a book about Mexican characters who live their lives in Spanish—non-English words are not italicized, and dialogue is formatted according to Spanish-language conventions. This well-researched novel is an absorbing, heart-rending read and a scathing i… More…

A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border, by an acclaimed, three-time Printz Award honoree.

Crafted with poetry and cinematic pace and narrated with cold fury, Saint Death is a provocative tour de force from three-time Printz Award honoree Marcus Sedgwick.

On the outskirts of Juarez, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo's help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past.

Hovering over his story is the unsparing divinity Santa Muerte, Saint Death—and the relentless economic and social inequalities that haunt the border between Mexico and its rich northern neighbor.

Praise for Saint Death:

"A timely but unflinching look at the distressing impact of drugs on the U.S.–Mexico border. . . . Readers will be both devastated and inspired by Arturo’s devotion to Faustino and his faith in Santa Muerte." —Kirkus Reviews

"The formatting and language underscore that this is a book about Mexican characters who live their lives in Spanish—non-English words are not italicized, and dialogue is formatted according to Spanish-language conventions. This well-researched novel is an absorbing, heart-rending read and a scathing indictment of the conditions that have allowed the drug trade and human trafficking to flourish in Mexico. . . . Eerily timely and prescient, this ambitious story is a necessary purchase for all collections." —School Library Journal

"Sedgwick (Blood Red Snow White) transports readers to the border city of Juarez in this grim study of the repercussions of U.S. policies and the market for narcotics on Mexico and its citizens. . . . The novel’s many tragedies feel all but inexorable, and Arturo’s story will linger with readers." —Publishers Weekly

Other novels by Marcus Sedgwick:
Blood Red Snow White: A gripping, romantic adventure novel based on the true story of Arthur Ransome's experiences with love and betrayal in war-torn Russia.
The Ghosts of Heaven: A Printz Honor Book! Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect four episodes, from prehistory through the far future.
She Is Not Invisible: When her father goes missing, a blind girl talented in identifying patterns and her brother are thrust into a mystery.
Midwinterblood: A Printz Medal Winner! Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined.
White Crow: A scary, thought provoking novel about secrets that are better left buried.
Revolver: A Printz Honor Book! A taut frontier survivor story, set at the time of the Alaska gold rush.

Graphic novel by Marcus Sedgwick, art by Thomas Taylor:
Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter: A rip-roaring romp full of hairy horrors, villainous villains, and the world’s toughest monster hunter—Scarlett Hart!

Less…

NYPL Books for the Teen Age, Texas TAYSHAS High School Reading List

THE RIVER

Not too far away from here, just over the horizon of our imagination, there’s a girl floating in the river. She moves with the water, whispering through the bulrushes by the bank. Her arms are out to the side, her legs splay,...

Praise for Saint Death

"A timely but unflinching look at the distressing impact of drugs on the U.S.–Mexico border. . . . Readers will be both devastated and inspired by Arturo’s devotion to Faustino and his faith in Santa Muerte." —Kirkus Reviews

"The formatting and language underscore that this is a book about Mexican characters who live their lives in Spanish—non-English words are not italicized, and dialogue is formatted according to Spanish-language conventions. This well-researched novel is an absorbing, heart-rending read and a scathing indictment of the conditions that have allowed the drug trade and human trafficking to flourish in Mexico. . . . Eerily timely and prescient, this ambitious story is a necessary purchase for all collections." —School Library Journal

"Sedgwick (Blood Red Snow White) transports readers to the border city of Juarez in this grim study of the repercussions of U.S. policies and the market for narcotics on Mexico and its citizens. . . . The novel’s many tragedies feel all but inexorable, and Arturo’s story will linger with readers." —Publishers Weekly

-

Reviews from Goodreads

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick was born and raised in Kent in South East England but now lives in the French Alps. His books have won and been shortlisted for many awards; most notably, he has been shortlisted for Britain’s Carnegie Medal six times, has received two Printz Honors, for Revolver and Ghosts of Heaven, and in 2013 won the Printz Award for Midwinterblood.

image of Marcus Sedgwicko
©Kate Christer

Square Fish

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER