Hurdles in the Dark: My Story of Survival, Resilience, and Triumph (Hardcover)

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Hurdles in the Dark: My Story of Survival, Resilience, and Triumph (Hardcover)

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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.

Elvira K. Gonzalez is a Tejana author, activist, and entrepreneur from the South Texas borderlands. She is a former collegiate athlete at the University of Incarnate Word where she graduated with a degree in Business. She coached Track & Field at the University of Pennsylvania and The Armory in New York City. She is the founder of Writers Inkubator and a non-profit that provides educational resources and scholarships to female student-athletes. Hurdles in the Dark is her literary debut.

Product Details ISBN: 9781250847850
ISBN-10: 1250847850
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: May 28th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English

"Gonzalez offers a glimpse into the challenges she faced navigating financial precarity, racism, sexual abuse, and violence through candid and insightful text, culminating in a raw and powerful debut." -Publishers Weekly

"In an honest and uncensored narrative, Gonzalez provides a look at her childhood during a time when she was extremely scared and vulnerable... Strongly recommended for public and high-school libraries." -Booklist

"In this perceptive narrative, moments of joy, confidence, and light contrast with the depths of confusion, hurt, and darkness, highlighting the struggles that many vulnerable young athletes from underrepresented backgrounds face... An unfiltered and honest account of perseverance, resilience, and defying the odds." -Kirkus

"Elvira K. Gonzalez (aka Kristy) transforms pain, vulnerability, and survival into strength and mastery to overcome hurdles on and off the track. Immersive, inspiring, and unforgettable, Hurdles in the Dark is exactly the book—and Kristy is exactly the role model—we need in this world." —Sonia Patel, author of Morris Award Finalist Rani Patel In Full Effect

“Through Hurdles in the Dark's thought-provoking narrative, readers are compelled to confront uncomfortable truths, all the while being captivated and inspired to tackle their own obstacles head-on.” —Jaha Dukureh, UN Goodwill Ambassador for Africa and Nobel Peace Prize nominee