Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

Praise 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...Joseph Campbell would recognize Enrique’s 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

"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

"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

"This portrait of poverty and family ties has the potential to reshape American conversations about immigration."
—  Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"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

"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

"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."

Advance praise for Enrique’s Journey

"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 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

"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 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

"This portrait of poverty and family ties has the potential to reshape American conversations about immigration".
—  Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)

Reviews of Enrique's Journey

Kirkus (Starred Review):

An expanded version of Nazario’s Pulitzer Prize-winning articles, originally published in the Los Angeles Times, about the harrowing journey hopeful immigrants take from Central America through Mexico into the U.S.

The twist on this familiar story is that in recent years, a growing number of America’s illegal immigrants are women. Unable to feed and clothe their children, they leave their homes in Honduras or Guatemala and head for a better life in el Norte. Once in America, Mami sends back as much money as she possibly can and promises to return to her children as soon as she builds up a nest egg. But low-paying jobs as nannies or maids don’t allow the women to save much, so immigrant mothers don’t return home for years, if ever. Their children, too young to understand the heartbreaking calculus of economics and maternal self-sacrifice, feel abandoned. Some of them eventually undertake the pilgrimage through Mexico and across the border, hoping to reunite with their mothers. Nazario’s account focuses on Enrique, left in Honduras by his mother Lourdes when he was six. Eleven years later, he decides it is time to find her. He must avoid immigration officers, who would send him back home, and the gangsters who regularly steal from, rape and even murder migrants. Enrique risks his life, riding through Mexico on the roofs of what child migrants call El Tren de la Muerte (the Train of Death). Enrique makes it to North Carolina, but he and Lourdes are in for an emotional shock. During the long years of separation, mother and son have idealized one another; their reunion exposes resentments that have festered over the years.

This portrait of poverty and family ties has the potential to reshape American conversations about immigration.

Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

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 theLos 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)

Spanish Language Reviews

El Diario/La Prensa, January, 2006:
From the Leyendo column Rossana Rosado, CEO and Publisher of El Diario/ La Prensa

Esta es la historia de la peligrosa expedición de un joven hondureño de 16 años que decide venir a Estados Unidos en busca de su madre. Enrique’s Journey está basada en una serie escrita por la periodista Sonia Nazario, la cual fue publicada en Los Angeles Times y mereció dos Premios Pulitzer.

Cuando Enrique tenía 5 años de edad, su madre, quien era muy pobre y no podía mantener a sus hijos, se fue a Estados Unidos a buscar trabajo para enviarle dinero a su familia. Ella les promete a sus hijos que volvería pronto, pero nunca ganó lo suficiente para regresar a su país, aunque sí les enviaba dinero y ropa todo el tiempo. Al cabo de once años, Enrique decide viajar ilegalmente hacia Estados Unidos, y atraviesa por terribles experiencias para llegar a encontrarse con su mamá, incluyendo viajar en lo que llaman El tren de la muerte.

Enrique’s Journey es la historia de muchos niños y jóvenes inmigrantes que ponen su vida en peligro para re-encontrarse con sus madres en Estados Unidos. Años atrás eran los padres los que dejaban sus hogares para llegar a este país a trabajar, a veces como braceros, y enviar ayuda a sus familiares. Pero en los tiempos recientes, muchas madres han tenido que dejar a sus niños con familiares y vecinos, y emprender el viaje a este país en busca de trabajo como domésticas.

Este libro nos ofrece una conmovedora historia con la que nos podemos identificar como inmigrantes, como padres y como hijos.

Para escribir esta historia la periodista Sonia Nazario hizo el mismo viaje que Enrique, por lo que nos ofrece en este trabajo un análisis profundo y serio sobre la cuestión de inmigración y el impacto en la familia. Enrique’s Journey es un trabajo excelente, y será lanzado al mercado en Inglés y en Español el 28 de febrero del 2006. Publicado por Random House, búsquelo en su librería favorita.