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Review: Enrigue's Journey (Sonia Nazario)

Title: Enrique's Journey
Author: Sonia Nazario
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this one from my school's library
Challenges: Global Reading (Central America)
Summary (from the back of the book):
Review: This book was chosen for UCSB Reads, run by the University of California at Santa Barbara. The author came to visit and I got many students and staff at my school to read it as well. This book is intense, horrific, uplifting, scary, and fascinating all at the same time.

Enrique is 12 when his mom moved to the United States. The goal was for her to make more money to send home and help the family. Ultimately, she was to send for her family to join her. By the time Enrique was 17 he was desperate to reunite with his mother. This book is the harrowing story of his attempts (and ultimate success) to travel from Honduras to the United States. He travels alone on top of trains dealing with bandits, corrupt police, other illegal travelers, and sometimes friendly villagers that offer food to those on top of the trains. He is beat up, arrested, sent back home numerous times, and then has to deal with the Mexico/US border!

I felt so relieved when Enrique made it to the US, but, of course, his difficult story doesn't end there. His mom has created a new life for herself in the US, Enrique is a young man without much education, and he is here illegally. Enrique thought being with his mom would make everything right, but of course, it doesn't. He has also left behind a family whom he needs to support.

This book takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster! It made me realize how bad things must be at home in order to take on the journey that Enrique (and others) took on. Coming to the US illegally is not easy or safe and it certainly doesn't solve their problems. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in humanity or what life is like for those who come to this country illegally. It also speaks to the power of motherhood!

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