First-Year Book Program

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

Link to instructor resources:


Enrique's Journey

Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother is based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography. 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.”

About the Author


Sonia Nazario has spent 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction, immigration.

Nazario has won numerous awards for her journalism, including the George Polk Award for Local Reporting in 1994, for “The Hunger Wars — Fighting for Food in Southern California.” “Orphans of Addiction” was a 1998 Pulitzer Prize finalist, and winner of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency PASS Award. Nazario also won the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley Special Recognition Award for her article “Sobering Facts” in 1999. She won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for her series “Enrique’s Journey,” first published in The Los Angeles Times in 2002. In 2012, Nazario was listed among the “40 Women Who Changed Media Business in the Past Forty Years” by Columbia Journalism Review.

About the first-year book program at Georgia State University.