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

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,179 ratings  ·  902 reviews
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 featu...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published February 1st 2005)
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Diana
Mar 13, 2008 Diana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to know more about immigration that just what happens at our border
Stuff I already knew:
-The US/Mexico border sucks and there are lots of shady people making lots of money off of it.
-People leave their countries and come to the US because they are dirt poor and can't support their families

Stuff I didn't already know but learned from this book:
-The Mexico/Guatemala border sounds like it's even worse than ours... not necessarily in terms of how difficult it is to cross, but rather, in the absolute brutality of the gangs and bandits that prey on migrants...
-Speak...more
Ryan
I learned a lot about illegal immigration from reading Sonia Nazario's Enrique's Journey. Nazario, a distinguished journalist for the Los Angeles Times very much takes a "features" approach in her writing, emphasizing the human stories and motivations that create the statistics.

It certainly makes for a compelling read. Enrique's story starts in Honduras with his mother, Lourdes. Lourdes cannot afford to feed and educate her children, so she leaves for "el norte." Her plan is to work hard, save m...more
Carol
Book rating: social relevance 5 stars, writing 1 star.

Lourdes, a single mother of 2 children, makes the decision to leave her homeland of Honduras for the United States to support her family. She leaves behind Belky (daughter, 8 years old) and Enrique (son, 5 years old) in the care of two different relatives. Eleven years later, Enrique, sets out to find her. The book details Enriques harrowing 4 month struggle to reunite with his mother. The book details the perils of immigrants from trains, ba...more
Ms. Montaño
Sep 14, 2008 Ms. Montaño rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all educators and people interested in learning about immigration
Recommended to Ms. Montaño by: Professors at UCLA
"Enrique's Journey" completely challenged my views on immigration and helped me identify the challenges that I face as a teacher. Sonia Nazario begins the book by providing a background of information on the immigration policies of the 80's and 90's. She then takes us to Honduras where a mother is about to leave her children so that she can come to the US and have a better life in order to provide a better life for her children. As the years go by, the mother is faced with the decision to risk h...more
Amber
Everyone in the US should read this book in order to understand the dangerous journey that Central American immigrants make in order to work in the US. This is not a book that tries to persuade you to feel one way or another about immigration. It is simply about one boy´s journey through Mexico on top of trains and the perils that surround him. He has many flaws, but a deep desire to reunite with his mother (who immigrated to the US when he was 6) and to send money back home to his family in Hon...more
Audrephilia
I can't believe how gruesome, violent, and nearly hopeless the journey is from South America to America! I mean, I thought all hispanic people snuck in with a few dangers. The news makes it sound like getting into America is easy as pie for migrants. I was so shocked to read that there's approximately a 0% chance of traveling via train and on foot without encountering horrific violence, debilitating injuries from boarding and unboarding the train, rape, robbery, and/or many other nightmare scena...more
Peter Derk
Well, I hated it.

It's kind of hard to say that because of the book's subject matter. It makes me feel like I'm saying the subject matter wasn't important. It's sort of like being in a writing class where someone writes a non-fiction piece about a past trauma. It's hard to talk about the problems with the piece without feeling like you're invalidating the events and the person in some way.

That said, hated it. It didn't have so much a narrative as it read like a list, a catalouging of atrocities....more
Sheryl
This is not a book. It's a report. It's straight forward reporting and I admire her efforts to get the full experience, but the ongoing repetition of the same kind of details to make her point was overkill for the general public.
George
ENRIQUE'S JOURNEY, by Sonia Nazario

HEART-WRENCHING. EYE-OPENING.

"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, page 229

"She [Enrique's mother] left for the United States out of love. She hoped...more
Tonya
Excellent book. I found it to be eye-opening as well as extremely thought provoking. I appreciate Nazario for successfully delivering a heart wrenching and sympathetic account of Enrique's and his family's stories yet still allowing the reader to feel that whichever side of the immigration issue he/she stands, it is ok as long as we realize the true matter is so gray and complicated... in no way black and white and obviously having no short term solutions. The only reason I gave 4 instead of 5 s...more
Lisa
I liked this book although it read more like a newspaper article than I was anticipating. Having worked with many immigrants from Central America, I found myself amazed at what some of them may have gone through to get to this country, as I had not thought much about the actual process outside of paying smugglers. I was also amazed that the author supposedly did some of the same travels, I have to think she had some sort of protection with her other than papers stating who she was...?

We tend to...more
Lynne
This author should stick to her Pulitzer prize winning journalism. The book is written in the short, choppy manner of a newspaper writer. It is repetitive. It supplies way too many names and places that are not crucial to the crux of the story.
The nonfiction story itself is compelling, but not enough to fill 300 pages. Basically, mothers flee Central America, leaving their children behind because they think they can make a lot of money in the United States. They flee in the name of love: they wi...more
Caz Margenau
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
Mar 23, 2008 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who live in the US.
Recommended to Jessica by: Kent Bassett
Three stars. But, everybody in the US should read this book. I don't believe there is a competitor out there. I thought after 6 years of immigrant rights work that I knew something about the risks of getting to the US from Central America. I didn't. It drives home the violence of our failure to achieve amnesty, again, making it now 22 years since the last time folks were given the opportunity to come out of the shhadows, visit their families, travel home or north without risking their lives.
But...more
Megan
I rated this a four for the amazing story, but I actually thought that the author's writing was a bit repetitive and bland at times. I had no idea that almost 100,000 Central American immigrants ride on the tops of trains through Mexico in order to reach the U.S. each year. The trip is extremely dangerous and many die or are injured. They are robbed and attacked by gangs, immigration officials, coyotes, police and others. They often have only the clothes on their backs, little money and travel a...more
Bryan
To give her children a better life Lourdes emigrates alone from Honduras to the United States. She promises to return, but time passed and her children never saw her again. Growing up with out her mother was specially difficult to Enrique, who is far from that innocent 5 year old that his mother left 12 years ago. Although, Lourdes children have a better live with the money she sends, it is not enough to heal the pain caused by the absence of the live of a mother. So Enrique decides to reunite w...more
Cheryl
In Enrique’s Journey, author Sonia Nazario details the true experiences of a young Honduran boy as he attempts to cross the border into the United States to reunite with his mother, Lourdes. In an effort to escape extreme poverty and starvation, and to provide a better life for her two young children, Lourdes, a single mother, decided to leave Honduras and try to find work in the U.S. She left her children with relatives and promised to return in a few years. Eleven years later, Enrique found hi...more
Christy
Let me start by saying that I am not an avid reader of non-fiction. That being said, Enrique's Journey was a good introduction into non-fiction for me. I think they content of this book made me rethink my views on immigration, seeing it from a first-hand point of view made it more realistic and made me more sympathetic to the harsh reality that hundreds upon thousands take every year to find a safe haven, a job, family members or to escape harsh conditions they currently live in. What stood out...more
Lisa
I think everybody in the U.S. with an opinion about immigration should read Enrique's Journey.

When Enrique is five years old, his mother leaves Honduras for the U.S. so she can support her children. But for Enrique the separation is unbearable, and when he is sixteen, he goes in search of her. Too poor to afford a smuggler, he travels the way that the poorest of the poor are forced to travel: by jumping onto freight trains headed north. The dangers of traveling this way are real and devastating:...more
Arlene Hayman
This interesting nonfiction book recounts the harsh experiences of a young Honduran boy named Enrique, who leaves his country in search of his mother who left for the United States eleven years earlier. It is an amazing story of resilience to hardship, and it accurately depicts the deterioration of the family unit through the separations and reconciliations.
In reading this story, I was very moved by the selflessness and bravery of people like Padre Leonardo Guajardo who devoted his life to help...more
Cammi
I absolutely loved this book and recommend it for everyone out there. It doesn't matter what you think or feel about the illegal immigration issue, you will never be the same after reading this book. It opened up my eyes and helped me understand some of the people that I encounter every single day. It also made me realize, yet again, how good I really do have it. What would lead a mother to leave her children to come to a foreign land, to face death and struggles beyond her imagination? What wou...more
Jake Stains
I started reading Enrique's Journey because I was interested about the current situation at the border and wanted to learn more about what migrant children have to go through to make it to the US. I continued reading the book because of the shear power of the story it told. Enrique's Journey is an adventure story about a teenager who rides on top of freight trains to the US, the mother who left him behind, and the trials, tragedies, dangers, and hardships he went through to get to "el norte". Wh...more
Bev
This is a book based on a Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles, first appearing in the Los Angeles Times. It was recommended to me by many people as a story that would put a human face on the immigration crisis that has taken center stage in our newspapers and television news these days. The author experienced many things that her hero, Enrique (no last names are given to any living person to protect them from possible capture by immigration authorities) experienced so that she could truly...more
Jonathan
Enrique's Journey is a real-life story about a boy growing up in Honduras without his mother, whom was working in the United States. Soon after the main protagonist comes to an age, he takes a dangerous journey to cross the U.S. border to reunite with his mother. I think his story was fairly interesting, especially learning about what some people go through just to live in the U.S.
Katie Boland
Not the most well written book but definitely helped me understand some issues with immigration better. I had no idea the Guatemala-Mexico border was so terrible. I also didn't know that Mexico deports so many people to Guatemala. A good book to read to gain some respect for what people go through to get here and stay here.
Daisy Rivera
Very exiting story that any one of us with immigrant parents can relate to. It's very sad how such things go on without us even knowing about them but I'm glad his story was told.
Lynnette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Garrett Cash
I would give this no stars if I could. Reading this about this painful odyssey is one in itself. Here's the review I wrote of it a long time ago.

"To start this review, I must mention I had to read this book for school. Had this not been a school assignment my time with Enrique's Journey would have been far more short. Now, I am not your average teenager that can't stand anything a school puts in my hands, and cry and whine throughout the oh-so-horrible task of "reading words." I am actually quit...more
Nichole Caton
Although I did learn a lot about immigration and the dangers that people face while attempting to better their lives and to be with their families, I was very distracted by the journalistic approach that the author uses to tell Enrique's story. (I know I know, she is a journalist after all...). Unfortunately, I thought it was very dry and if it were to have been written differently I could have 1. Read it faster and 2. been able to become emotionally taken by what was happening and relate to the...more
Robert Early
I honestly wanted to love this book. I wanted to get lost in the stories of these immigrants. I wanted to feel emotionally connected to them. I wanted to cry. I wanted to smile. I wanted to feel relief. I wanted to feel SOMETHING! Unfortunately, Enrique’s Journey (2006) falls well short of being considered even mediocre in my opinion.

First off, I don’t want anyone to think I’m some heartless monster. I sympathize with Central and South American people who illegally immigrate to the United States...more
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I did not like this book at all...... 2 30 Jan 08, 2014 07:41PM  
Fiction Lover's B...: * Enrique's Journey, by Sonia Nazario 1 2 Oct 18, 2012 09:20AM  
Enrique's Journey 1 15 Apr 07, 2012 07:01PM  
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  • Gringolandia
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  • Don't Be Afraid, Gringo
  • Written in Stone
Sonia Nazario has written about social issues for more than two decades, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She holds the distinctions of winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, and of being the youngest writer to be hired by the Wall Street Journal.

She grew up both in Kansas and Argentina. She permanently moved to the U.S. as the Dirty War was happening i...more
More about Sonia Nazario...
Enrique's Journey

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