Browse Authors:
  • Home
  • S
  • Francisco X. Stork

Francisco X. Stork books in order

Francisco Xavier Arguelles, popularly known as Francisco X. Stork, is a Mexican-born American attorney and author of young adult fiction and young adult romance novels.

Born in Monterrey, Mexico, he relocated to the United States with his family at the age of nine.

Passionate about writing from his childhood days, Francisco received a fully sponsored scholarship to Spring Hill College in Mobile Alabama, where he majored in English Literature and Philosophy.

He went on to study Latin American Literature at Harvard University before later studying law at Columbia Law School.

Francisco practiced law for more than three decades before retiring in 2015 in order to pursue his lifelong dream of fiction writing.

A husband, father and grandfather, Francisco currency lives and writes from his home just outside Boston, Massachusetts.

More about Francisco X. Stork

Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

Born: 1953

United States


Non Series

  • The Way of the Jaguar (2000)
  • Behind the Eyes (2006)
  • Marcelo in the Real World (2008)
  • The Last Summer of the Death Warriors (2010)
  • Irises (2012)
  • The Memory of Light (2016)
  • On the Hook (2021)
  • I Am Not Alone (2023)


  1. Disappeared (2017)
  2. Illegal (2020)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Way of the Jaguar

Ismael Diaz is on death row. As he sits in his cell waiting to die, he writes a diary that reconstructs his life and the circumstances that led him to commit murder. The reader meets a man who is a successful real estate lawyer in Boston until he trespasses on a neighbor's property to put out a "spring cleaning" fire. This incident sets off a chain reaction that results in the loss of everything that has made his life worthwhile. 

At loose ends, he decides to go back and seek out the people of his past, including his long-lost love, Armanda. He succeeds in finding her but discovers that she has lost her youthful innocence as the result of a nightmarish life of drug addiction, prostitution, and the murder of her (and Ismael's) child. Diaz's attempts to rescue Armanda finally lead him to death row. 

As he writes his story in prison, he also learns the "way of the jaguar" from another inmate. Partly ancient Aztec philosophy and partly an idiosyncratic, extrapolated doctrine, it entails facing down La Pelona - death itself - and accepting life. This knowledge finally enables Diaz to make the most important decision he has ever made.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-0927534932
Publisher: Bilingual Pr
Behind the Eyes

Hector Robles has spent his sixteen years in the projects of El Paso trying to stay unnoticed. His peaceful obscurity is shattered when his impulsive brother challenges the leader of a gang called the Discípulos. Suddenly Hector is drawn into their world of violence and hopelessness. 

When a marker is placed on his life, Hector tries to escape by going away to a school for students with troubled pasts. But it isn't easy to function when he's paralyzed by the fear that they'll find him, even there. Ultimately, by confronting external threats and the internal pain of his memories and mistakes, Hector begins to understand what manhood really means.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0525477358
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Marcelo in the Real World

The term "cognitive disorder" implies there is something wrong with the way I think or the way I perceive reality. I perceive reality just fine. Sometimes I perceive more of reality than others.

Marcelo Sandoval hears music that nobody else can hear ― part of an autism-like condition that no doctor has been able to identify. But his father has never fully believed in the music or Marcelo's differences, and he challenges Marcelo to work in the mailroom of his law firm for the summer . . . to join "the real world."

There Marcelo meets Jasmine, his beautiful and surprising coworker, and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns about competition and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file a picture of a girl with half a face that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0545056908
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

One is dying of cancer. The other's planning a murder.

When Pancho arrives at St. Anthony's Home, he knows his time there will be short: If his plans succeed, he'll soon be arrested for the murder of his sister's killer. But then he's assigned to help D.Q., whose brain cancer has slowed neither his spirit nor his mouth. D.Q. tells Pancho all about his "Death Warrior's Manifesto," which will help him to live out his last days fully--ideally, he says, with the love of the beautiful Marisol. 

As Pancho tracks down his sister's murderer, he finds himself falling under the influence of D.Q. and Marisol, who is everything D.Q. said she would be; and he is inexorably drawn to a decision: to honor his sister and her death, or embrace the way of the Death Warrior and choose life.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0545151344
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks

TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood. 

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own. 

ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B006N4IY9Q
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
The Memory of Light

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn't be alive. But then she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. 

With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had. But Vicky's newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. 

And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending Vicky back to the life that drove her to suicide, she must try to find her own courage and strength. She may not have them. She doesn't know

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0545474337
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
On the Hook

"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.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B08KYLT6N4
Publisher: Scholastic Press
I Am Not Alone

Alberto's life isn't easy: He's an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who lives with his sister's abusive boyfriend-but he'd always accepted his place in the world. Until he starts hearing the voice of a man called Captain America, a voice that wants him to achieve more, no matter the cost.

Grace has it all: She has a supportive boyfriend, she's on track to be valedictorian, and she's sure to go to the college of her dreams. Still, nothing feels right to her any more after the divorce of her parents, and feels she needs something more.

When Alberto and Grace meet, they have an immediate and electric connection. But when Alberto is present at the scene of a terrible crime, he becomes a suspect. And with his developing schizophrenia, he's not even sure he believes in his own innocence.

Can Grace find a way to prove Alberto's innocence to himself and the world?

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2023
Ebook: B0B849X2XZ
Publisher: Scholastic Press



A missing girl, a determined reporter, and a young man on the brink combine for a powerful story of choices, suspense, and survival.

Four months ago: Sara Zapata’s best friend disappeared, kidnapped by the web of criminals who terrorize Juàrez.

Four weeks ago: Her brother, Emiliano, fell in love with Perla Rubi, a girl whose family is as rich as her name.

Four hours ago: Sara received a death threat…and her first clue her friend’s location.

Four minutes ago: Emiliano was offered a way into Perla Rubi’s world—if he betrays his own.

In the next four days, Sara and Emiliano will each face impossible choices, between life and justice, friends and family, truth and love. But when the criminals come after Sara, only one path remains for both the siblings: the way across the desert to the United States.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1338312829
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

What does it mean to be illegal in the United States?

Life in Mexico is a death sentence for Emiliano and his sister Sara.

To escape the violent cartel that is after them, they flee across the border, seeking a better life in the United States and hoping that they can find a way to bring their pursuers to justice.

Sara turns herself over to the authorities to apply for asylum.

Emiliano enters the country illegally, planning to live with their father.

But now Sara is being held indefinitely in a detention facility, awaiting an asylum hearing that may never come, finding it harder every day to hold on to her faith and hope. Life for Emiliano is not easy either. Everywhere he goes, it's clear that he doesn't belong. And all the while, the cartel is closing in on them...

Emiliano sets off on a tense and dangerous race to find justice, but can he expose the web of crimes from his place in the shadows?

Author: Francisco X. Stork
First Release: 2020
Ebook: B07W37VC1X
Publisher: Scholastic Press