Media Kit

For media inquiries regarding general immigration issues or upcoming speaking engagements, please contact Sonia Nazario directly at sonianazario@verizon.net.

For media inquiries for the regular version of Enrique’s Journey, please contact:

Barbara Fillon
Deputy Publicity Director
Random House, Spiegel & Grau, The Dial Press
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
212-572-4995
bfillon@randomhouse.com

For media inquiries about the young adult version of Enrique’s Journey, please contact:

Lisa Nadel
Random House Children’s Books
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
212-782-9460
lnadel@randomhouse.com

Documents available for download

Press Release for the Revised Edition Published in February  2014

The award winning, national bestselling book, Enrique’s Journey, is a classic in the literature on immigration. It is now revised and updated, and Sonia Nazario is one of the country’s most powerful voices on the subject. This book is not just the story of one boy in search of his mother.  It is the story of one million undocumented children living in the United States today.

Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, and the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States. The book won the 2011 Williams College Book Award Program, the 2006 California Book Award, Silver Medal in non-fiction, and the 2006 Christopher Book Award. It has been translated into eight languages, chosen by 87 universities and scores of high schools nationwide as a common or freshman read, and selected by 20 cities as a “One City” read.

At a time when America is embroiled in a national debate on immigration that will shape the country’s future, Sonia Nazario argues that we urgently need a different approach. Instead of continuing the same three ineffectual strategies–greater border enforcement (costing $18 billion a year), temporary guest worker programs, and pathways to citizenship–she calls for a new approach that addresses key “push” factors that propel migrants, especially women and children, to leave their homelands. She argues that instead of spending billions on walls that don’t work, the U.S. must improve conditions in four countries that send 74% of migrants who come to the U.S. illegally by increasing aide to help improve education for girls, lowering birthrates; promoting micro-loans to help women start job-generating businesses; and gear trade policies to give clear preference to goods from these four countries.

As the Latino electorate is felt more acutely at the polls and businesses demand more immigrant workers as the economy grows, political leaders are increasingly confronting the immigration issue. House Republican leaders on January 30th proposed changes that include tougher border enforcement, a better system for temporary workers, more visas for high skilled workers, and a path to legalization for children, but not necessarily for half of the 11.7 million in the U.S. illegally.

Among the current issues Nazario can address:

  • A recent and unprecedented surge in children coming unlawfully and alone, without either parent, to the United States. In fiscal 2014, the U.S. estimates it will capture 74,000 children entering the U.S. and place them in federal custody, ten times the number three years before. One in six of these children are 12 years old or younger; most are from Central America. While the overall apprehension of immigrants entering the U.S. unlawfully is at a 40-year low, the number of children coming alone and illegally is higher than ever before.
  • There are now 80 detention shelters across the United States established just for unaccompanied immigrant children, up from 53 facilities two years ago. One study found 40% of these children are eligible to stay in the U.S. legally. But few have the legal counsel needed, and are being returned in large numbers to their country of origin, often to dangerous situations. While Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit begun by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie (Nazario is a board member), has recruited more than 6,100 pro bono attorneys nationwide to represent unaccompanied children, the vast majority of children, some as young as two years old, still go to court alone. They stand frightened and confused before immigration judges with no legal advocate to help them mount their legal case.
  • There are one million undocumented children in the United States today. By 2020, 30% of all children in the nation’s public schools will either be an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, up from 6% in 1970. Each year, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools. These children are part of a larger demographic shift, as Latinos go from 17% of the U.S. population today to 30% by 2050.
  • The Zetas, the worst narco-trafficking cartel in Mexico, is kidnapping 18,000 Central Americans a year. Their preferred target: children, so they can extort money from parents in the U.S.
  • Forced gang conscription in Central America is causing boys as young as seven years old to flee for their lives. Some experts have begun calling this mass exodus of children a refugee crisis. Children are coming by foot, boat, and, like Enrique, gripping to the tops of freight trains that travel up the length of Mexico. The trauma these children have faced in their home countries and on their journeys north affects a large number of children in the U.S.
  • Children have been separated from parents when mothers or fathers come to the U.S. and leave them behind. But today, family separations are also happening in reverse, as more people living in the U.S. illegally are deported than ever before. Some 200,000 parents of U.S. born children were deported between 2010 and 2012, and more than 5,000 children have ended up in the U.S. foster care system as a result.
  • Is the amped up border enforcement really working? Will spending more money help? Do pathways to citizenship encourage more illegal migration? Would moving forward on the immigration issue help grow our economy? Would creating a path to legalization without the possibility of citizenship be good or bad for the U.S.?

About The AUTHOR: Sonia Nazario, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has spent more than two decades reporting and writing about social issues. 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.

Praise for ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY
“A stirring and troubling book about a magnificent journey. . . . 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.”—Washington Post Book World

“[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

“A remarkable feat of immersion reporting . . . The kind of story we have told ourselves throughout history, a story we still need to hear.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A prodigious feat of reporting . . . vivid and detailed . . . [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

 “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, Baltimore Sun
 
“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

 “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

Sonia Nazario atop the "train of death" in Mexico.

Sonia Nazario atop the “train of death” in Mexico.

Press Release for the Edition for Young Adults Published in August 2013

«“A heart-wrenching account . . . Provides a human face, both beautiful and scarred, for the undocumented—a must read.”  —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“A compelling account of a modern day immigration odyssey . . .This powerfully written survival story personalizes the complicated, pervasive, and heart-wrenching debates about immigration and immigrants’ rights and will certainly spark discussion in the classroom and at home.”—Booklist

ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY

The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite With His Mother

Adapted for Young People

By Sonia Nazario

An estimated one million children live illegally in the United States, most from Mexico and Central America.  Most have spent time away from a parent before following him or her to the United States.  Statistics show that one out of every four children in the nation’s elementary schools is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.  This is nearly double the number from just twenty years ago.  In May 2000, journalist Sonia Nazario decided to document the journey of one such child, then known only by his first name: Enrique.  Her compelling account of Enrique’s harrowing trip from Honduras to the United States, in search of his mother, Lourdes, was first published as a series in the Los Angeles Times and would go on to win the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.  In 2006, her book, ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother was published to widespread acclaim and became a national bestseller.

With ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother (Delacorte Books for Young Readers/ On Sale August 27, 2013/ $16.99/ Age 12+), Sonia Nazario has adapted her bestselling work for a younger audience.  Enrique was seventeen when he journeyed from Honduras to the United States.  Though he may have been a teenager in many respects, he would be forced, by circumstance, to grow up very quickly.  In her amazing account of Enrique’s odyssey, Nazario retraces the young Enrique’s footsteps: beginning in Honduras, taking buses through Central America, then traveling the length of Mexico clinging to the top of seven freight trains before hitchhiking on a truck from Northern Mexico to the U.S. border.  All told, in following Enrique’s exact path, Nazario traveled more than sixteen hundred agonizing miles.

In addition, ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY now contains a new epilogue, updating readers on where Enrique is today, on his life since his story became national news.  Though Enrique came to the United States chasing the dream of a better life, he struggled upon his arrival.  As an illegal immigrant, he was forced to live in the shadows, knowing he could be deported at any time.  His imperfect English made him stick out in a country he longed to call home, and he struggled to find work, even as he found it nearly impossible to fit in.

As Nazario ably demonstrates, kids like Enrique flow into the United States every day, in increasingly high numbers.  Though Enrique’s story is not an uncommon one, it is necessary.  With the immigration debate now even more of a hot-button political issue, ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY brings to light the daily struggles of migrants, legal and otherwise, and the complicated choices they face to survive.    


ENRIQUE’S JOURNEY By Sonia Nazario

Delacorte Books for Young Readers │ On Sale 8/27/2013 │Grades 7 & up

Hardcover: 978-0-385-74327-3│$16.99 │$18.99 Can. │288 pages

Ebook: 978-0-307-98315-2│$10.99

Praise for Enrique’s Journey:

2011 Williams College Book Award Program, for “Enrique’s Journey”
2006 California Book Award, Silver Medal, Non-fiction
2006 Christopher Book Award
2003 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 stirring and troubling book about a magnificent journey. . . . Enrique’s Journey is among the best border books yet written.”— Washington Post Book World

“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

“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

“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

“A prodigious feat of reporting . . . vivid and detailed . . . [Nazario is] amazingly thorough and intrepid.”—Newsday

“[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

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

Updates

small OPED Photo_Page_1 Sonia Nazario’s latest opinion piece was featured in the New York Times Sunday Review February 26, 2017. Child refugees who come to this country alone from Central America have won special, deserved protections. Now those protections could be stripped away. Her story describes why this is wrong.

Donate to Sonia's Go Fund Me Campaign
The only way to really slow the flow of migrants coming to the U.S. unlawfully from Central America is to help fix what's pushing them out of the most violent countries on earth. Finally, the U.S. is doing something right in Central America--helping to fund efforts to reduce violence. Pastor Daniel Pacheco is leading the effort to cut violence in one of the worst neighborhoods in Honduras. He puts himself in the line of fire to help bring peace to his neighborhood. He needs our help. If you were moved by the story of Pastor Daniel Pacheco that was featured in my NY Times piece on August 14, 2016, please donate whatever you can HERE : https://www.gofundme.com/2hfvbuk

Book Sonia To Speak

Sonia Nazario speaks at universities, conferences, high schools, and other events. Email her at: sonia.l.nazario@gmail.com.