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Enrique's Journeyby Sonia Nazario
Synopses & Reviews
Now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more, this is the definitive edition of a classic of contemporary America.
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, this astonishing story puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States. Now a beloved classic, this page-turner about the power of family is a popular text in classrooms and a touchstone for communities across the country to engage in meaningful discussions about this essential American subject.
Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. As Isabel Allende writes: “This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. If you are going to read only one nonfiction book this year, it has to be this one.”
“Magnificent...Enrique’s Journey is about love. It’s about family. It’s about home.” The Washington Post Book World
“[A] searing report from the immigration frontlines...as harrowing as it is heartbreaking.” People
“Stunning....As an adventure narrative alone, Enrique’s Journey is a worthy read....Nazario’s impressive piece of reporting [turns] the current immigration controversy from a political story into a personal one.” Entertainment Weekly
“Gripping and harrowing...a story begging to be told.” The Christian Science Monitor
“[A] prodigious feat of reporting...[Sonia Nazario is] amazingly thorough and intrepid.” Newsday
“An amazing tale...for some journalists, research means sitting at a computer and surfing Google....For Sonia Nazario...it means leaving home for months at a time to sit on top of a moving freight train running the length of Mexico, risking gangsters and bandits and the occasional tree branch that might knock her off and thrust her under the wheels. It means not eating, drinking water or going to the bathroom for 16-hour stretches-all in service to the story.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Compelling...Nazario doesn’t pull any punches.” Dallas Morning News
“Astounding...I am unaware of any journalist who has voluntarily placed herself in greater peril to nail down a story than did Nazario.” Steve Weinberg, former Executive Director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, The Baltimore Sun
“Gripping...astounding...viscerally conveys the experience of illegal immigration from Central America...[Nazario] has crafted her findings into a story that is at once moving and polemical.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A remarkable feat of immersion reporting...[Gives] the immigrant...flesh and bone, history and voice....The kind of story we have told ourselves throughout history, a story we still need to hear.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
“This portrait of poverty and family ties has the potential to reshape American conversations about immigration.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A meticulously documented account of an epic journey, one undertaken by thousands of children every year...[Nazario] covers both positive and negative effects of immigration, illuminating the problem’s complexity....In telling Enrique’s story [she] bears witness for us all.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Riveting...expert reporting...Nazario puts a human face upon a major issue....The breadth and depth of [her] research is astounding.” The Plain Dealer
“Insightful and beautifully written and sheds a great deal of light on the horrific journeys immigrants risk to find a better life. Highly recommended.” Library Journal
“This is a harrowing odyssey that depicts one young man's attempts to reunite with his mother and the social and economic issues involved in illegal immigration.” Booklist
In this astonishing true story, award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounts the unforgettable odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.
When Enrique is five years old, his mother, Lourdes, too poor to feed her children, leaves Honduras to work in the United States. The move allows her to send money back home to Enrique so he can eat better and go to school past the third grade.
Lourdes promises Enrique she will return quickly. But she struggles in America. Years pass. He begs for his mother to come back. Without her, he becomes lonely and troubled. When she calls, Lourdes tells him to be patient. Enrique despairs of ever seeing her again. After eleven years apart, he decides he will go find her.
Enrique sets off alone from Tegucigalpa, with little more than a slip of paper bearing his mother's North Carolina telephone number. Without money, he will make the dangerous and illegal trek up the length of Mexico the only way he can — clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains.
With gritty determination and a deep longing to be by his mothers side, Enrique travels through hostile, unknown worlds. Each step of the way through Mexico, he and other migrants, many of them children, are hunted like animals. Gangsters control the tops of the trains. Bandits rob and kill migrants up and down the tracks. Corrupt cops all along the route are out to fleece and deport them. To evade Mexican police and immigration authorities, they must jump onto and off the moving boxcars they call El Tren de la Muerte — The Train of Death. Enrique pushes forward using his wit, courage, and hope — and the kindness of strangers. It is an epic journey, one thousands of immigrant children make each year to find their mothers in the United States.
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, Enriques Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times articles, Enrique's Journey is a timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.
About the Author
Sonia Nazario, a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has spent more than two decades reporting and writing about social issues, earning her dozens of national awards. The newspaper series upon which this book is based won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, and the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. Nazario grew up in Kansas and Argentina. She is a graduate of Williams College and has a masters degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. For more information, visit www.enriquesjourney.com.
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Biography » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
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