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Journey of Hope, Memoirs of a Mexican Girl: an autobiography of an illegal immigrant girl from Guanajuato, Mexico who immigrated to Los Angeles, California, and eventually became an American Citizen Paperback – October 31, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

...reads like... heartfelt, one-on-one conversation with a young girl and the narration of an academy award winning film... -- Inland Empire Community Newspapers, May 2, 2008

It is impossible to read this true story without gaining more compassion for the struggles of Mexican families -- ARPublish.com

From the Publisher

Please read this telling recent
Book Review published by:

Inland Empire Community Newspapers (IECN)
El Chicano * Colton Courier * Rialto Record * The Inland Empire Weekly

Book review "Journey of Hope: Memoirs of a Mexican Girl"
02/May/2008

By Cynthia Mendoza

Did you ever dream about a beautiful, giant place filled with all the food you could possibly want and available for you to purchase right then and there? Probably not, because for most people in the United States, such a place already exists. It's called a grocery store. But for Rosalina Rosay, it was truly a magical, faraway place she could only dream about after hearing stories from those who had actually set foot in such a wondrous place.

Very little is left to the imagination about what life was like in a small, poor Mexican town of Pueblonuevo, Guanajuato during the 60's and 70's, described in the book Journey of Hope: Memoirs of a Mexican Girl. The autobiographical book written by Rosay reads like something between a transcript of a very long, heartfelt, one-on-one conversation with a young girl and the narration of an academy award winning film, but the message the reader takes away is the same; a deep sense of genuine gratitude for the opportunities and blessings most of us take for granted in the United States.

Whether they like it or not, readers will see something as mundane as a bar of soap through a completely new set of eyes, the eyes of a young Mexican girl born into grinding poverty.

"...my oldest sister, Teresa... was already working in America-or El Norte (The North) as we usually called it. She headed there after her husband left her with their three kids. She is working as a maid and nanny....she sent white, creamy, fragrant soaps that were easy to hold and much different than the big, brown, non-fragrant bars of soap the whole family normally shared."

Soap was just one tiny detail that drove into Rosalina the reality of the circumstances that she was born into.

"Unlike America, Mexico around the late 60's was a very bad place to live, especially for children...My mother had six sons and four daughters, not including the ones that had died as babies. Most women my other's age had eight, nine or ten kids, often giving birth to babies around the same time as did their oldest daughters as was the case in our family."

As recounted in the book, toothbrushes were yearly luxuries as was the toothpaste that went on them, and there was no toilet paper or tissue. Social and personal interaction did not fare much better. Beating, humiliating and a general disregard for children's emotional needs were part of daily life. Described in the memoir men working in El Norte often came home for their newborn's baptism only to return to America once again leaving behind a pregnant wife.

The author weaves together so many elements, political, social, economic, religious, and family dynamics in order to create one seamless, poignant tapestry of the human experience in one tiny corner of the world in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Rosay's life journey eventually brought her to the land she had only heard and dreamt about as a child.

"I am at Cal State Northridge wearing a cap and gown and al I am thinking about is how much I love America," reads one of the final chapters in the book. "I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and I know this would not be possible if I was not in this country."

Rosay holds a degree in accounting. By the time she was in her mid-twenties she was working for a local CPA firm and also enjoys giving back by being involved as a Sierra Club leader, soccer coach and Girl Scout leader.

And besides sharing her life story, Rosay also takes the opportunity to voice some of her views about the political situation between the United States and Mexico.

She feels very strongly that US trade policies and NAFTA are not to blame for illegal immigration since there was no NAFTA in the 60's and 70's and life was still very hard.

She also directs a few comments towards former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his successor Felipe Calderon.

"It saddens me when I hear the current and former president of Mexico talk about illegal immigrants. The current president..says the American economy needs illegal immigrants. The former president has said that illegal immigrants come to this country to do the jobs that Americans do not want to do. They both say this as if they are proud of providing an uneducated, unskilled workforce....these two presidents should be ashamed of this."

But overall, the common thread that runs through the entire book is a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities she has been afforded in the United States.

"I have tried to pay back this country by raising kids that do respect Mexico, but that love and have loyalty to only one country, America."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: AR Publishing Company (October 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980036178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980036176
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,103,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Nicely done, and thanks for sharing your story Mrs. Rosay!
A. Doolittle
If anything this book does nothing but bash on those who helped her the most and give thanks to those who weren't there at all.
Nicole Kemanjian
I gave this book five stars because I think it was very well written and kept me wanting to read it until the very end.
Carly argyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claude on December 15, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
CONGRATULATIONS TO ROSALINA!!!!!!! on her Book Review published by:

Inland Empire Community Newspapers (IECN)
El Chicano * Colton Courier * Rialto Record * The Inland Empire Weekly (also on website [...] )

Book review "Journey of Hope: Memoirs of a Mexican Girl"
02/May/2008

By Cynthia Mendoza ([...])

Did you ever dream about a beautiful, giant place filled with all the food you could possibly want and available for you to purchase right then and there? Probably not, because for most people in the United States, such a place already exists. It's called a grocery store. But for Rosalina Rosay, it was truly a magical, faraway place she could only dream about after hearing stories from those who had actually set foot in such a wondrous place.

Very little is left to the imagination about what life was like in a small, poor Mexican town of Pueblonuevo, Guanajuato during the 60's and 70's, described in the book Journey of Hope: Memoirs of a Mexican Girl. The autobiographical book written by Rosay reads like something between a transcript of a very long, heartfelt, one-on-one conversation with a young girl and the narration of an academy award winning film, but the message the reader takes away is the same; a deep sense of genuine gratitude for the opportunities and blessings most of us take for granted in the United States.

Whether they like it or not, readers will see something as mundane as a bar of soap through a completely new set of eyes, the eyes of a young Mexican girl born into grinding poverty.

"...my oldest sister, Teresa... was already working in America-or El Norte (The North) as we usually called it. She headed there after her husband left her with their three kids.
Read more ›
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Cody on December 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Journey of Hope-Memoirs of a Mexican Girl" is so compelling, I read it in one night.

This memoir chronicles a little girl's childhood recollections of life growing up in a small, poor Mexican town in the 1960's. The author writes in the present-tense beginning as five-year-old Rosalina describes the sights, smells, tastes and sometimes exciting escapades in her life, mixed with tales of startling deprivation and chilling abuse.

In spite of hopeless surroundings, lack of resources, and destructive family influences, this child manages to develop an early insight that there is a world of possibilities and hope beyond her town, and within her reach.

Her love of learning and refusal to accept the predictable path of her predecessors paves the way to academic achievement and success unprecedented among her family, and a permanent move to the United States.

This memoir provides graphic images of poverty with harrowing sequences of domestic violence and a child's terror. At other times, it's a story of remarkable optimism and courage; a young girl's ability to fully appreciate the small delights of life, like a soft new dress or a delicious piece of chocolate.

This is an inspiring memoir of determination, accomplishment, and genuine gratitude.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie R. on January 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
Before reading this, I really had no idea how bad it was in Mexico. All you typically hear about nowadays is about the Tourism in Mexico and vacation hot spots there. Rarely do you hear about the small towns, the poverty, and how the people struggle just to survive. This book was definitely eye opening.

Dealing with the physical and mental abuse of her family, having little to eat at times, and living in such poor circumstances, it's amazing that the author pulled through all of that, and made a wonderful life for herself here in the states. Very inspirational! Another reminder that if you set your mind to something, and work hard, you can accomplish anything.

Congratulations on your first book! Hope to see more in the future!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave this book five stars because I think it was very well written and kept me wanting to read it until the very end. It was detailed enough so that I could really see what was happening. I would recommend this book for readers ages eleven and up who like to read about the lives of other people.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By InsanelyZanter on November 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As mandatory reading for a class, I was under the impression someone down the line must have read it and decided it was a good fit for the students. After reading it, I can only believe it was picked at random, or as a personal favor to someone at the publisher.

The second you pick up the book, the cover smacks you in the face with's it's overwhelming lack of effort. The stock Microsoft publisher fonts, the google images american flag with the background removed with the magic eraser, taking the white stripes with it. It's an absolute disaster, but I can't say it doesn't represent the book well.

The narrative is breathtakingly dry. The author describes event after event in textbook-quality dry, uninteresting detail. Any compelling parts of the journey are glazed over in favor of unimportant details. We get a two-page description of the author's ear infection but the act of hopping the border barely gets a paragraph. Issues are raised and explained but never touched on again. Reading it you can't get invested in anything as you know it will hardly be mentioned again.

The overwhelmingly positive views toward america, expressed constantly within almost every chapter, are basic and childlike. It's attempt at sparking a connection and telling the tale of illegal immigration are completely undone by it's effortless spouting of events. Seek your tales of inspiration and patriotism elsewhere.
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Journey of Hope, Memoirs of a Mexican Girl: an autobiography of an illegal immigrant girl from Guanajuato, Mexico who immigrated to Los Angeles, California, and eventually became an American Citizen
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