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

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

really liked it

Supposedly a rating of 4 stars means "I really liked it." I gave this 4 stars because it is an amazing book but the topic is too tough to say that I 'really liked' it. Anyway, Nazario became interested in the plight of children from Central America and Mexico whose mothers leave them with relatives for years on end while they come to the United States to work. The mothers find low wage jobs here and still make enough to send money back to their children. But often the mothers are here for more than a decade. The separation is very traumatic for both mothers and kids and the kids, some as young as 9, often decide to make their way to the U.S. to find their mothers. Author Nazario found Enrique, a 17 year old from Honduras, who made 8 failed attempts and a 9th successful attempt to get to his mother in North Carolina. She had left him behind when he was five. This is the story of Enrique's journey through a motherless childhood, through several months of extreme danger and deprivation as he made his way to the United States, and then the first few years of his life after re-uniting with his mother and living as an undocumented worker in the U.S. The author actually spent several weeks riding on the tops of trains through Mexico, interviewing smugglers, etc. in an attempt to understand the reality of the danger. In the last section of the book, Nazario does a great job at outlining the many complications to the whole situation - from the point of view of the migrants to the U.S. Border Patrol. There are no easy solutions but there is much room for improvement.

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