When thirteen-year-old Ricky Diaz discovers that his mother was actually murdered by drug dealers, he's desperate for revenge. But his father, a former drug enforcement agent, refuses the mission the DEA now offers: to steal an airplane with an American-made radar detector that the cartel uses to smuggle drugs from Mexico.
Angry with his father for throwing away the chance to avenge his mother, Ricky decides to take matters into his own handshewill steal the plane. He runs away to Mexico, disguising himself as one of the manyrateros, or homeless children. Life on the streets proves extremely hard and dangerous, and he's barely surviving when he meets Soledad, a crafty but kindheartedratera. With her help, he must find a way to get into the drug cartel's compound and take the plane - or end up as yet another casualty in the raging drug war.
In this thrilling novel, author Ben Mikaelsen sheds light on America's war on drugs and the grittiness of street life while exploring an unexpected friendship and the healing power of family.