37 pages 1 hour read

Reyna Grande

Across A Hundred Mountains

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2006

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Character Analysis

Juana García

When the novel begins, Juana is 11 years old and lives in a small village in Mexico with her mother, Amá, her father, Apá, and her baby sister, Anita. One night, the family’s shack floods. Juana is responsible for holding onto Anita, but Juana falls asleep and Anita drowns. After Apá leaves to find work in the United States, Amá and Juana are the only members of their family left. Eventually, Juana decides to search for her father and makes it to Tijuana, close to the US border. There, she becomes a prostitute in order to become close to the coyotes, the men who help people cross the border illegally. After Juana’s friend Adelina dies, Juana steals Adelina’s American birth certificate and moves to Los Angeles. Juana eventually goes to college and gets a job in a shelter for homeless and battered women. The novel alternates in point of view between Adelina and Juana, but by the end of the novel, the reader realizes that Adelina and Juana are the same person.

Juana is a brave and determined character. She cares for Amá even after Amá becomes an alcoholic, and even gets a job selling quesadillas to help the family.

Related Titles

By Reyna Grande

Study Guide


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A Dream Called Home

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