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"You know I'm coming. You're dead already."
Hector has always minded his own business, working hard to make his way to a better life someday. He's the chess team champion, helps the family with his job at the grocery, and teaches his little sister to shoot hoops overhand.
Until Joey singles him out. Joey, whose older brother, Chavo, is head of the Discípulos gang, tells Hector that he's going to kill him: maybe not today, or tomorrow, but someday. And Hector, frozen with fear, does nothing. From that day forward, Hector's death is hanging over his head every time he leaves the house. He tries to fade into the shadows -- to drop off Joey's radar -- to become no one.
But when a fight between Chavo and Hector's brother Fili escalates, Hector is left with no choice but to take a stand.
The violent confrontation will take Hector places he never expected, including a reform school where he has to live side-by-side with his enemy, Joey. It's up to Hector to choose whether he's going to lose himself to revenge or get back to the hard work of living.
Francisco X. Stork (he/him) emigrated from Mexico at the age of nine with his mother and his adoptive father. I Am Not Alone is his tenth novel. Other novels include: Marcelo in the Real World, recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award, The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, which received the Elizabeth Walden Award, The Memory of Light, recipient of the Tomás Rivera Award, Disappeared, which received the Young Adult Award from the Texas Institute of Letters and was a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor Book and Illegal, recipient of the In the Margins Award, the Young Adult Award from the Texas Institute of Letters and the International Latino Book Award. On the Hook published in 2021, received four starred reviews and was the recipient of the International Latino Book Award.
Praise for On the Hook:
A Junior Library Guild Selection
* "What starts as a quiet drama quickly escalates to a potent, fiery story while remaining a deep meditation about cycles of violence. A staggering and fearless book." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Hector [must choose] between embracing revenge and granting forgiveness to move on with his life. Intense, at times brutal, but so vital for today's polarized society, this book will hopefully encourage readers to have compassion for others, even those with whom they vehemently disagree." -- Booklist, starred review
* "Unflinching... Hector must decide whether his need for revenge outweighs his desire to heal." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for Illegal:
"An eye-opening look at U.S. immigration wrapped inside a tense thriller." -- Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee
"Illegal is a compelling read infused with Francisco Stork's signature heart and thought-provoking ideas. With honesty and authenticity, it grapples with questions that we all ask ourselves about the moral inequities of immigration. Heartbreaking, yet hopeful." -- Pam Muñoz Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of Echo and Esperanza Rising
"Illegal is timely and evocative. Once again, Francisco X. Stork challenges and expands our perceptions of empathy, justice, and what it means to be human." -- Sharon Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of The Light in Hidden Places
Praise for Disappeared:
* "A timely and touching novel that will surely engross fans of true crime stories. This title would be a welcome addition to young adult collections." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "A tense thriller elevated by Stork's nuanced writing and empathy for every character, including the villains -- superb." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Stork beautifully explores the strong ties to one's home along with... the lure of power; and the strength necessary to dream, hope, and make positive change in such crushingly dangerous and difficult circumstances." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
* "Stork uses parallel storylines to flesh out the two protagonists, and then slowly brings them together to a harrowing climax. Not only does this result in a riveting story, it also highlights the harsh complexity of young Mexicans' lives. Readers will find this thrilling as well as eye-opening." -- Booklist, starred review
Praise for The Memory of Light:
* "Stork further marks himself as a major voice in teen literature by delivering one of his richest and most emotionally charged novels yet." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Stork writes sensitively about Vicky's journey from near death to shaky recovery... A subject that needs the discussion Stork's potent novel can readily provide." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Accurate, heartbreaking, and hopeful... A beautiful read." -- School Library Journal, starred review
* "Undeniable emotional strength and an encouraging, compassionate message. Stork writes his characters with authenticity and respect... Highly rewarding." -- Booklist, starred review
Praise for Marcelo in the Real World:
"[A] brisk, brilliant, unsentimental novel." -- Robert Lipsyte, New York Times Book Review
* "Stork introduces ethical dilemmas, the possibility of love, and other 'real world' conflicts, all the while preserving the integrity of his characterizations and intensifying the novel's psychological and emotional stakes. Not to be missed." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "It is the rare novel that reaffirms a belief in goodness; rarer still is one that does so this emphatically." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
Praise for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors:
* "Stork's latest marks him as one of the most promising young adult authors of the new decade." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
"Complicated yet ultimately endearing characters are a Francisco Stork standard. His latest novel doesn't disappoint." -- Chicago Sun-Times