Monday, August 4, 2014

Enrique's Journey

Enrique's Journey
Sonia Nazario

Enrique's Journey

Genre: Non-fiction

Summary (from Goodreads):  Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, this astonishing story puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States. Now a beloved classic, this page-turner about the power of family is a popular text in classrooms and a touchstone for communities across the country to engage in meaningful discussions about this essential American subject.

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. As Isabel Allende writes: “This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. If you are going to read only one nonfiction book this year, it has to be this one.”

Review:  While reading this book, I learned a lot about the plight of Central American children illegally immigrating to the United States, and was horrified by the violence many of them suffer during their journey.  While Nazario doesn't seem to try to sway readers to a certain point of view on immigration, I felt that her book made me think about immigration in a different way - a HUMAN way.  And that regardless of how I felt about the illegal immigration issue in general, Nazario's book serves to remind us all that these are human children  that we should be caring about.

However, the book read like a compilation of newspaper articles rather than a novel, and the character of Enrique could have been developed better.  It felt more like a retelling of the things that happened to Enrique on his journey, juxtaposed with stories about other immigrants, and I would have liked to know more about how Enrique was thinking and feeling.

Rating: 4 stars

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