Marty Reeder'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
Mar 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: bedroom-bookshelf
Read in March, 2008

One day at school, someone asked me how to get to another teacher's class. Because I am a kind and loving person and a Boy Scout to boot, I didn't just point in the general direction, but I stood up and walked the person to the other side of the building (I was bored). In return for my kindness, this person gave me a book: Enrique's Journey, and then subsequently disappeared into a puff of white smoke. Anything that is new and is given to you for free by a magical witch is always exciting, so I pretty much immediately opened up the book and breezed through the first couple of pages. I never looked back. This true story about a young man's quest to find his mother, traveling thousands of miles through hostile territories and situations, is thrilling throughout. Absolutely gripping in a lot of spots. Underlying this exiting story, however, there is a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. This story, as it is true and represents thousands of others with similar stories, rings deeply. It says a lot about the economic state of some of our neighboring countries, it says a lot about the life and purpose of an illegal immigrant, it says a lot about crime and government corruption, it has touching stories about the difference one person who cares can make. But most of all, for me, this was a story about family. What holds families together, what breaks them apart. What sacrifices are worth making for family, and which ones, though well-intentioned, are not. In the end, while I sympathized with Enrique and his mom and their situation, and I believe they made difficult decisions, but in the end, leaving your family, for whatever reason, is no way to save it. A child without parents is worse than a child without food. What a powerful and touching story, the whole of which was presented in a factual, yet exciting narrative form. Nazario received a Pulitzer Prize for her newspaper articles of this story, and deservedly so. She takes a very partisan issue and makes it human, without advocating one way or another. A true professional journalist, she simply tells the story, and the reader can make what they would like with it. I am now so caught up with the story of Enrique and his family, that I thirst for more. If they had a blog, I'd probably be their most faithful visitor. Having said that, my curiosity is now piqued; I'm going on a journey to find Enrique's blog. Wish me luck!

P.S. Okay, so the lady didn't vanish in a puff of smoke. But that's where it felt like things were going as I wrote it, so I had to maintain the artistic integrity of the review.

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