Saturday, December 15, 2007

Smarty Saturday: Enrique's Journey!


First it was Smarty Saturday, then it turned into Smarty Sunday, and now its back to Smarty Saturday again! As my employer schizophrenically changes my work schedule, my bog changes too!
Anyway, the book I have for you today is related to a post I made several days ago, about the plight of children in South and Central America, whose parents illegally immigrate to the USA, leaving their children behind. The abandoned children often decide to follow in their parents' footsteps, journeying to the USA to try to find their parents or other family members.
Enrique's Journey
, by Sonia Nazario, is a true story about a boy in this situation.
Enrique, who grew up in Honduras. is five years old when his single mother decides to travel to the USA to work. Lourdes leaves Enrique with his father, and sends Enrique's sister to live with their grandmother and aunts. Lourdes promises her family she'll be back as soon as she can... but her plan to stay for a year or two turns into eleven years.
Meanwhile, young Enrique grows up shuffled among relatives. When his father gets remarried and his stepmother grows tired of him, Enrique is once again left behind with his paternal grandmother. As he gets older and begins to rebel and act out, his grandmother kicks him out. At one point Enrique is living in a shack in his maternal grandmother's backyard, because nobody wants him around. Enrique decides then that he will find his way to the USA, and meet up with his mother. He thinks that being with hsi mother again will solve all of his problems...
The book follows Enrique's dangerous journey to the USA. He must ride on top of trains, risking injury and death. He gets beaten up by bandits, as well as by unscrupulous police. He gets caught by the authorities several times, getting sent back to Honduras each time. But Enrique never gives up, and every time he gets knocked down, he gets right back up again and restarts his journey to the USA. Will he ever see his mother again? Or will he die trying?
No matter what your feelings about illegal immigration are, this book will challenge you to think more deeply about the subject.
Enrique's Journey apparently is going to made into a mini-series by HBO, so you'll definitely want to read the book first!

No comments: