When Enrique is five years old, his mother, Lourdes, too poor to feed her children, leaves Honduras to work in the United States. The move allows her to send money back home to Enrique so he can eat better and go to school past the third grade.
Lourdes promises Enrique she will return quickly. But she struggles in America. Years pass. He begs for his mother to come back. Without her, he becomes lonely and troubled.
With gritty determination and a deep longing to be by his mother's side, Enrique travels through hostile, unknown worlds. Each step of the way through Mexico, he and other migrants, many of them children, are hunted like animals. Gangsters control the tops of the trains. Bandits rob and kill migrants up and down the tracks. Corrupt cops all along the route are out to fleece and deport them. To evade Mexican police and immigration authorities, they must jump onto and off the moving boxcars they call El Tren de la Muerte - the Train of Death.
Enrique pushes forward using his wit, courage, and hope - and the kindness of strangers. It is an epic journey, one thousands of immigrant children make each year to find their mothers in the United States.
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, Enrique's Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.
©2006 Sonia Nazario; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"The breadth and depth of Nazario's research into this phenomenon is astounding, and she has crafted her findings into a story that is at once moving and polemical." (Publishers Weekly)
My son read Enrique's Journey as an assignment for school. He listened to the audio book and followed along in the printed version. When he got to the end of Chapter 7 it skipped about 20 pages to the Afterward. While he didn't have any other complaints about the audio book, those who are only listening to the book and not following along in print would not know they were missing the end of the book!
Nazario's reporting is excellent. She's taken a heart wrenching situation and woven in humanity to make it bearable.
Byers is a good reader for English but her Spanish takes away from her performance.
Absolutely a must-read. The story is a real eye-opener about the journey that South Americans take to get to the United States. The narrator however, sounds like a robot at times. Her voice is harsh and lacks the fluency that I have grown accustomed to in my other audible purchases.
I will recommend Audible to anyone who loves multi-tasking. I am able to learn while being active. It takes away my stress, totally!
I was enlightened. A good book. A good narrator.
This story truly depicts the experience of leaving a cold behind in order to provide them with a better life. The emotional impact that that this story illustrates will alter your currently held notions about the immigrant experience.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
My family immigrated from Scotland two generations back. Now I can see there are many people from Central and South America doing the same thing, but it has become very dangerous. furthermore, families are estranged from one another for years at a time as a result of this northern migration via train. It is definitely a hot button issue and it is a problem in many parts of the world. Frankly I can't see why some of these smaller countries can't come up with something to give their citizens a reason not to leave.Instead the politicians benefit from the sweat off these poor people's backs while not doing anything to give them hope for a brighter future for their families. I'm in Turkey right now and they have accepted 700,000 refugees from Syria. Lots of the people I have met are from Georgia, Pakistan and Iran. The Islamic world is far more cohesive than I had imagined. It is a bit off topic, but globalization is really bringing out the worst in bad countries, so people are not stupid. They will risk their lives for the prospect of a better life somewhere other than home. Enrique's story is one of tragedy and persistence to just get to the U.S. We take our easy lives for granted. Our forefathers must have also had a hard time adjusting, but we never risked losing limbs, robbery or rape just to escape the oppression of Europe.
Sonia Nazarino is a journalist who has tackled the issue of children of illegal immigrants traveling to the US to find their parents. At the outset, she details her methodology. She chooses one boy (Enrique) and reports about his multiple attempts to reach the US and his mother. To get the full story, she retraces his journeys - riding the trains, risking life and limb, and interviewing everyone she can in every town.
The result is a narrative following the life of Entrique and a journalist's report of what is happening as children seek to reach the US alone.
This is a book about illegal immigration that needs to be told. It is well written and the narration of Catherine Byers is excellent. Some may think the book is overly dramatic and that may be true. On the other hand, how can one relate the extreme conditions experienced by these children and not be somewhat dramatic?
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