Hurdles in the Dark
Author: Elvira K. Gonzalez
A Mexican-American teen girl dreams of winning an athletic scholarship against all odds in a Texas border town. This true story of survival, strength, and triumph is perfect for fans of Educated and Athlete A.
Twenty-four hours: that's how long fourteen-year-old Elvira Gonzalez is given to come up with the $40,000 she needs to save her kidnapped mother from a drug cartel. It's 2006 and Elvira's hometown of Laredo, Texas, has become engulfed by the Mexican Drug War. Elvira's life is unraveling around her—setting her on a harrowing path that leads her to being locked up in one of South Texas's worst juvenile detention centers.
After Elvira's released from juvie, she's resolved to never go back. That's when her unexpected salvation arrives in the form of 33-inch-high plastic hurdles. Determined to win a track scholarship out of Laredo, Elvira begins breaking into the school, alone, at 5:30 in the morning to practice hurdling. Soon, she catches the attention of a renowned high school coach, an adult man in his 30s. As they train, their coach-student relationship begins to change, becoming sexual. At just seventeen years old, Elvira experiences the dangers many young athletes face, especially those who are marginalized. In spite of these towering obstacles, Elvira eventually propels herself to become one of the top ranked hurdlers in the USA and the first in her family to go to college.
This inspiring true story of grit, tenacity, and hope traces Elvira's path as she overcomes impossible hurdles in her race to freedom.
Roaring Brook Press