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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Social Sciences » Emigration & Immigration

Enrique's Journey

The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother

By Sonia Nazario

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Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 February 2007
An astonishing story that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States, now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more--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 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." Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more. "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 (four stars) "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

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 master's 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.To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www.apbspeakers.com

Reviews

One million people enter the United States legally each year, and another 700,000 arrive illegally, according to Nazario (Los Angeles Times), who won the Pulitzer Prize for her newspaper story on which this book is based. Here, she retraces the travel of immigrants from Central America to El Norte and writes brilliantly about the trials and tribulations that besiege the journey. Specifically, she focuses on a Honduran boy, Enrique, left behind by his mother, Lourdes, who fled to the United States, like many Central American women before her, to make enough money to give her children a better life back home and ultimately return to them. Although such women believe that they have made the right decision and that their time away will be brief, this often is not the case. Enrique is emblematic of many lonely children, feeling abandoned and missing their mothers, who decide to seek a reunion by traveling north through Mexico and, illegally, into the United States. They risk assault, robbery, rape, and even murder in the process. Sadly, the reunions between mothers and children-who felt abandoned-deteriorate to blame and resentment. Enrique's Journey is insightful and beautifully written and sheds a great deal of light on the horrific journeys immigrants risk to find a better life. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Soon to be turned into an HBO dramatic series, Nazario's account of a 17-year-old boy's harrowing attempt to find his mother in America won two Pulitzer Prizes when it first came out in the Los Angeles Times. Greatly expanded with fresh research, the story also makes a gripping book, one that viscerally conveys the experience of illegal immigration from Central America. Enrique's mother, Lourdes, left him in Honduras when he was five years old because she could barely afford to feed him and his sister, much less send them to school. Her plan was to sneak into the United States for a few years, work hard, send and save money, then move back to Honduras to be with her children. But 12 years later, she was still living in the U.S. and wiring money home. That's when Enrique became one of the thousands of children and teens who try to enter the U.S. illegally each year. Riding on the tops of freight trains through Mexico, these young migrants are preyed upon by gangsters and corrupt government officials. Many of them are mutilated by the journey; some go crazy. The breadth and depth of Nazario's research into this phenomenon is astounding, and she has crafted her findings into a story that is at once moving and polemical. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb. 28) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-Seeking to understand why Latina single mothers leave their children to come to the U.S., and why many children undertake the hazardous journey to reunite with them, Nazario traced one family's story. Enrique was determined to find his mother, who left him in Honduras when he was five. At 16, after seven attempts to make it to Texas, robbed by bandits or police, beaten, jailed, and deported again and again, he finally reached the Rio Grande and earned enough to call her. She sent him money to pay a "coyote" to smuggle him across the border and the two were reunited, but they are strangers now, their relationship strained. Meanwhile, Enrique's girlfriend in Honduras bore his child. Ultimately, she joined him, leaving their three-year-old daughter behind. Mothers leave their children to send back money for better food, clothing, and schooling, yet years of separation strain family ties. The author retraced Enrique's journey by traveling on top of trains, hitchhiking, taking buses, facing the dangers the teen faced. Photographs and interviews with him, family members, other children, and those who provide aid along the way document the hazards of migration. Descriptions of rapes, beatings, and jailing of immigrant children and accounts of those who suffered loss of limbs falling from freight trains are graphic and disturbing. But no one can doubt the authenticity of this reporting.-Molly Connally, Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Praise & Awards for Enrique's Journey 2011 Williams College Book Award Program, for "Enrique's Journey"2006 California Book Award, Silver Medal, Non-fiction2006 Christopher Book Award2003 Pulitzer Prize, feature writing, for "Enrique's Journey"2002 George Polk Award for International Reporting, for "Enrique's Journey"2002 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Problems of the Disadvantaged, Grand Prize Winner, for "Enrique's Journey""A prodigious feat of reporting . . . vivid and detailed . . . [Nazario is] amazingly thorough and intrepid."--Newsday"A stirring and troubling book about a magnificent journey. . . . It's the stuff of myth . . . [but] Enrique's Journey is true . . . A microcosm of the massive exodus pouring over the borders of our nations. . . . Enrique's suffering and bravery become universal, and one cannot fail to be moved by the desperation and sheer strength of spirit that guides these lonely wanderers. . . . Enrique's Journey is about love. It's about family. It's about home. . . . The border will continue to trouble the dreams of anyone who is paying attention. . . . Enrique's Journey is among the best border books yet written."--The Washington Post Book World"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"[A] searing report from the immigration frontlines . . . as harrowing as it is heartbreaking. . . . [Nazario] is a fearless reporter who traveled hundreds of miles atop freight trains in order to palpably re-create the danger that faces young migrants as they flee north."--People (four stars)"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 "A story of heartache, brutality, and love deferred that is near mythic in its power."--Los Angeles Magazine"Stunning . . . As an adventure narrative alone, Enrique's Journey is a worthy read. . . . Nazario's impressive piece of reporting . . . turn[s] the current immigration controversy from a political story into a personal one."--Entertainment Weekly"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"Gripping and harrowing . . . a story begging to be told . . . readers fed up with the ongoing turf wars between fact and fiction, take note: Here is fantastic stunt reporting that places this sometimes hard-to-believe story squarely in the realm of nonfiction."--The Christian Science Monitor"Compelling . . . drama, pathos, and [the] hot topic of illegal immigration."--The San Diego Union-Tribune"[Enrique's Journey] personifies one of the greatest migrations in history. . . . Much of the book is a thriller . . . a 12,000-mile journey worthy of an Indiana Jones movie."--The Orange County Register"Riveting . . . expert reporting . . . Nazario puts a human face upon a major issue. . . . The breadth and depth of [her] research is astounding."--The Plain Dealer"A heart-racing and heart-rending trip."--The Daily Nonpareil "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"A story readers won't soon forget."--Tu Ciudad"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"This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. Nazario's powerful writing illuminates one of the darkest stories in our country. This is outstanding journalism. If you are going to read only one non-fiction book this year, it has to be this one, because you know these young heroes. They live next door. . . ."--Isabel Allende "Enrique's Journey is an empathetic glimpse into the Faustian bargain made by immigrants who leave family behind for a bet on the rewards of life in the North. Sonia Nazario's brave reporting focuses particularly on a consequence of one woman's departure from Central America: the horrific gauntlet suffered by her son as he traverses Mexico, often in the company of similar children, all of them in search of their parents."--Ted Conover "Here is an account of a boy's childhood and youth that becomes a powerfully instructive summons to us readers, who grow into Enrique's grateful, spellbound students. His life, his vivid search, teach a haunting lesson of suffering that turns into a kind of redemption."--Robert Coles "Enrique's Journey is an important, compelling, harrowing tale, one which will long stay with you. We should all be grateful that Sonia Nazario went to such extraordinary lengths to bring us this story. This is reportage at its finest, both courageous and passionate."--Alex Kotlowitz "Enrique's Journey is the odyssey of our time and place. The story of a boy's brave and harrowing search for the mother who loved him but left is the most telling, moving, and unsparing account I have ever read about those who struggle and sacrifice to give their families better lives, and the loneliness and regret that no success can ever fully put to rest. It is a great American--I emphasize that--story, beautifully reported."--Scott Simon "Gripping, heroic and important, Enrique's Journey captures the heart. Most Americans or their forebears came to the United States from other countries. They experienced difficult journeys and wrenching family separations-all in the hope of finding a better life in this new land. Enrique's story is our story, beautifully told."--Edward James Olmos Praise & Awards for Enrique's Journey 2011 Williams College Book Award Program, for "Enrique's Journey"2006 California Book Award, Silver Medal, Non-fiction2006 Christopher Book Award2003 Pulitzer Prize, feature writing, for "Enrique's Journey"2002 George Polk Award for International Reporting, for "Enrique's Journey"2002 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Problems of the Disadvantaged, Grand Prize Winner, for "Enrique's Journey""A prodigious feat of reporting . . . vivid and detailed . . . [Nazario is] amazingly thorough and intrepid."--Newsday"A stirring and troubling book about a magnificent journey. . . . It's the stuff of myth . . . [but] Enrique's Journey is true . . . A microcosm of the massive exodus pouring over the borders of our nations. . . . Enrique's suffering and bravery become universal, and one cannot fail to be moved by the desperation and sheer strength of spirit that guides these lonely wanderers. . . . Enrique's Journey is about love. It's about family. It's about home. . . . The border will continue to trouble the dreams of anyone who is paying attention. . . . Enrique's Journey is among the best border books yet written."--The Washington Post Book World"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"[A] searing report from the immigration frontlines . . . as harrowing as it is heartbreaking. . . . [Nazario] is a fearless reporter who traveled hundreds of miles atop freight trains in order to palpably re-create the danger that faces young migrants as they flee north."--People (four stars)"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 "A story of heartache, brutality, and love deferred that is near mythic in its power."--Los Angeles Magazine"Stunning . . . As an adventure narrative alone, Enrique's Journey is a worthy read. . . . Nazario's impressive piece of reporting . . . turn[s] the current immigration controversy from a political story into a personal one."--Entertainment Weekly"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"Gripping and harrowing . . . a story begging to be told . . . readers fed up with the ongoing turf wars between fact and fiction, take note: Here is fantastic stunt reporting that places this sometimes hard-to-believe story squarely in the realm of nonfiction."--The Christian Science Monitor"Compelling . . . drama, pathos, and [the] hot topic of illegal immigration."--The San Diego Union-Tribune"[Enrique's Journey] personifies one of the greatest migrations in history. . . . Much of the book is a thriller . . . a 12,000-mile journey worthy of an Indiana Jones movie."--The Orange County Register"Riveting . . . expert reporting . . . Nazario puts a human face upon a major issue. . . . The breadth and depth of [her] research is astounding."--The Plain Dealer"A heart-racing and heart-rending trip."--The Daily Nonpareil "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"A story readers won't soon forget."--Tu Ciudad"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"This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. Nazario's powerful writing illuminates one of the darkest stories in our country. This is outstanding journalism. If you are going to read only one non-fiction book this year, it has to be this one, because you know these young heroes. They live next door. . . ."--Isabel Allende "Enrique's Journey is an empathetic glimpse into the Faustian bargain made by immigrants who leave family behind for a bet on the rewards of life in the North. Sonia Nazario's brave reporting focuses particularly on a consequence of one woman's departure from Central America: the horrific gauntlet suffered by her son as he traverses Mexico, often in the company of similar children, all of them in search of their parents."--Ted Conover "Here is an account of a boy's childhood and youth that becomes a powerfully instructive summons to us readers, who grow into Enrique's grateful, spellbound students. His life, his vivid search, teach a haunting lesson of suffering that turns into a kind of redemption."--Robert Coles "Enrique's Journey is an important, compelling, harrowing tale, one which will long stay with you. We should all be grateful that Sonia Nazario went to such extraordinary lengths to bring us this story. This is reportage at its finest, both courageous and passionate."--Alex Kotlowitz "Enrique's Journey is the odyssey of our time and place. The story of a boy's brave and harrowing search for the mother who loved him but left is the most telling, moving, and unsparing account I have ever read about those who struggle and sacrifice to give their families better lives, and the loneliness and regret that no success can ever fully put to rest. It is a great American--I emphasize that--story, beautifully reported."--Scott Simon "Gripping, heroic and important, Enrique's Journey captures the heart. Most Americans or their forebears came to the United States from other countries. They experienced difficult journeys and wrenching family separations-all in the hope of finding a better life in this new land. Enrique's story is our story, beautifully told."--Edward James Olmos

EAN: 9780812971781
ISBN: 0812971787
Publisher: Random House Trade
Dimensions: 20.32 x 13.21 x 2.79 centimetres (0.34 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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