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Enrique's Journey
The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother
Written by Sonia Nazario

Enrique's Journey
Enlarge View

Category: Social Science - Emigration & Immigration; History - Latin America - Central America; Biography & Autobiography - Cultural, Ethnic & Regional - General
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: January 2007
Price: $17.00
Can. Price: $23.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7178-1 (0-8129-7178-7)
Pages: 400

Enrique's Journey has been adopted for freshman year reading/common reading programs at:

Colleges and Universities:

   • Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
   • Indiana University, Kokomo, IN
   • College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, OH
   • University of Missouri, Kansas City
   • Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
   • Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA
   • Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO
   • Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA
   • Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA
   • Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR
   • Edgewood College, Madison, WI
   • University of North Carolina, Charlotte
   • Peace College, Raleigh, NC
   • Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID
   • University of North Carolina, Greensboro
   • Central College, Pella, IA
   • Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
   • Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
   • Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL
   • Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH
   • Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH
   • Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
   • University of South Carolina, Aiken
   • Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
   • John Carroll University, University Heights, OH
   • University of California, Santa Barbara (University-wide read)
   • Santa Barbara City College, CA
   • Texas A & M, College Station, TX
   • Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
   • Hawai'i Pacific University, Honolulu
   • Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
   • Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Maricopa County, AZ (Common Read)
   • Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA (Common Read)
   • Moorpark College, Moorpark, CA (Common Read)
   • Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA (Common Read)
   • Cumberland County College, Vineland, NJ (Common Read)
   • Millersville University, Millersville, PA (Freshman Read)
   • California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA (Freshman Read)
   • Meredith College, Raleigh, NC (Common Read)
   • Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL (Freshman Read)
   • Lasell College, Newton, MA (Common Read)
   • Metro State College, Denver, CO (One Book Read)
   • George Fox University, Newberg, OR (Common Read)
   • University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
   • University of Wisconsin, Madison (Go Big Read Program)
   • SUNY College at Old Westbury (Freshman Read)
   • Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO (Common Read)
   • Adams State College, Alamosa, CO (Common Read)
   • North Seattle Community College (Winter Read)
   • Rosemont College, Rosemont, PA (First Year Connections Seminar Read)
   • University of Richmond, Richmond, VA (Summer Read for Juniors)
   • Loyola University Chicago (Freshman Read)
   • Newman University, Wichita, KS (Community Read)
   • Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY (Common Read)
   • Cabrini College Radnor Township,PA (Summer Read)
   • University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (Common Read)
   • Hesston College, Hesston, KS (Common Read)
   • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA (Summer Read)
   • College of Wooster, Wooster, OH (Common Read)
   • Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, NE (Diversity Matters Book Series)
   • Manhattan College, New York, NY (Common Read)
   • Cedar Valley College, Lancaster, TX (Common Read)
   • College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NE (Common Read)
   • Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL (Campus Read)
   • University of La Verne, La Verne, CA (One Book, One University)
   • Holy Names University, Oakland, CA (Campus-wide Common Read)
   • California State University, Bakersfield (Common Read)
   • Utah Valley University, Orem, UT (Freshman Read)
   • Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ (Common Read)
   • Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, AL (Common Read)
   • Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory, NC (Common Read)
   • Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX (Common Read)
   • East Carolina University, Greenville, NC (Common Read)
   • Wingate University, Wingate, NC (Freshman Read)
   • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (Common Read)
   • Missouri State University, Springfield, MO (Freshman Read)
   • Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ (Common Read)
   • Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA (Freshman Read)
   • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI (One Book, One Community)
   • University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA (Common Read)
   • Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA (One Book, One Campus) 

High Schools:

   • Brother Martin High School, New Orleans, LA
   • Northern Valley Regional High School, Demarest, NJ
   • Northern Valley Regional High School, Old Tappan, NJ
   • Academy of the Holy Angels, Demarest, NJ
   • Bay Shore High School, Bay Shore, NY
   • Challenge Early College High School, Houston, TX
   • Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA
   • La Jolla Country Day School, La Jolla, CA
   • Middletown N.J. High School
   • Wheeling High School, Wheeling, IL
   • Burlingame High School, Burlingame, CA
   • Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne, MA
   • St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH
   • Putnam County High School, Eatonton, GA
   • Hudson High School, Hudson, OH
   • Santa Ana High School, Santa Ana, CA
   • Animo Venice Charter High School, Venice, CA
   • Banning High School, Wilmington, CA
   • Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, VA
   • Los Alamitos High School, Los Alamitos, CA
   • Bishop Mora Salesian College Preparatory High School, Los Angeles, CA
   • Lakeview High School, Chicago, IL
   • John Muir High School, Pasadena, CA
   • Cheverus High School, Portland, ME
   • North East Independent School District, San Antonio, TX
   • La Salle High School of Yakima, Yakima, WA
   • Huntington High School, Huntington, NY
   • Marian High School, Omaha, NE
   • Mercy High School, Omaha, NE
   • Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove, IL
   • Notre Dame High School, San Jose, CA
   • Desert Mirage High School, Thermal, CA
   • Los Angeles Leadership Academy, Los Angeles, CA
   • Keansburg Public Schools, Keansburg, NJ
   • White Plains High School, White Plains, NY
   • North East Independent High School, San Antonio, TX
   • O'Fallon Township High School, O'Fallon, IL
   • Academy of Education and Empowerment at Carson High School, Carson, CA
   • Manheim Central High School, Manheim, PA
   • Woodrow Wilson High School, Washington DC
   • Conner High School, Hebron, KY
   • North High School, Sioux City, IA
   • Colorado Academy, Denver, CO
   • Incline Village Schools, Incline Village, NV
   • St. Mary's School, Raleigh, NC
   • Jack C. Hayes High School, Buda, TX
   • Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport, TN
   • Esteban E. Torres High School, Los Angeles, CA
   • Northern Valley High School District, NJ
   • Jackson School District, Jackson, NJ
   • Round Rock High School, Round Rock, TX
   • Andover eCademy, Andover, KS
   • Christian Brothers High School, Sacramento, CA
   • Haverford High School, Havertown, PA
   • Gates County High School, Gatesville, NC
   • Niles North High School District 219, Skokie, IL
   • University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, IL
   • Environmental Science and Technology High School, Los Angeles, CA
   • Harpeth Hall School, Nashville, TN
   • Johns Creek High School, Johns Creek, GA
   • Lake View High School, Chicago, IL
   • Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren, NJ
   • Atlantic Technical Center High School, Margate, FL
   • Kellam High School, Virginia Beach, VA
   • Chatham High School, Chatham, NJ
   • St. Raymond High School for Boys, Bronx, NY
   • Immaculate Conception Academy, San Francisco, CA
   • Fletcher High School Cambridge AICE Program, Jacksonville, FL
   • Social Justice Humanitas Academy, San Fernando, CA
   • Marquette University High School, Milwaukee, WI
   • Mamaroneck High School, Mamaroneck, NJ
   • Johnson High School, San Antonio, TX
   • Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park, IL
   • Pebblebrook High School, Mableton, GA
   • Olympian High School, Chula Vista, CA

Middle School [Young Adult Version]

   • Saint John's Preparatory School, Collegeville, MN
   • Miller Middle School, Durango, CO
   • Durango Middle School, Durango, CO
   • Escalante Middle School, Durango, CO
   • James Denman Middle School, San Francisco, CA
   • James Lick Middle School, San Francisco, CA
   • The Benjamin School, North Palm Beach, FL

Enrique’s Journey has been adopted as a “One City, One Book” read by 17 cities:

   • San Diego, CA 2007
   • Yuma, AZ 2008
   • Glendale, CA 2008
   • Santa Fe Springs, CA 2009
   • Saint Peter, MN 2009
   • Laredo, TX 2009
   • Memphis, TN 2010
   • Denver, CO 2012
   • Davis, CA 2013
   • Watsonville, CA 2013
   • Wyoming, MI 2014
   • Bakersfield, CA and Kern County, CA 2014
   • Rhinelander, WI 2014
   • Naperville, IL 2015
   • Peoria, IL 2015
   • Nantucket, MA 2015
   • Lakeville, MN 2015
   • East Lansing, MI 2016

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 mother’s 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, Enrique’s Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his to find the mother he loves.

“One of the main goals of our college’ s Common Reading Experience is to light a fire in our students’ brains about an important subject that they will have the ability to impact in their lifetime. As immigration is one of those subjects, we chose to give our almost 900 freshmen a free copy of Enrique’s Journey this fall. Our students at FLC are reading all or part of the book in several classes. We invited the book’s author, Sonia Nazario, to give a public talk and to spend a full day with students, faculty, staff, and members of the larger Durango community. While I am embarrassed that we asked so much of Sonia, she didn’ t flinch. She understood that we are trying to get our students engaged in the topic of immigration, motivated to learn, and willing to act as responsible citizens. She dove in and lit that fire! All around campus, our students are saying: I had NO idea! Students are remarking on her ability to make a dense, complicated subject easier for them to begin to understand. They are impresses by her intelligence and her huge heart and passion for her work. I, and my colleagues, wish Sonia had stayed at the college longer. We would all benefit from more of her wisdom and we liked being so energized! We are lucky she came here.” –Bridget Irish, Assistant Dean, Writing and First Year Experience, Fort Lewis College

For additional educator guides and materials, go to: http://enriquesjourney.com/educators.html


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.