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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading but needs context, February 4, 2007
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This review is from: Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother (Hardcover)
As I continue discussing this book with my freshman composition students, I realize the story needs more context. My freshman are too quick to see ENRIQUE'S journey as THE IMMIGRANT journey--I remind them again and again that this is the story of ONE boy and his family. It's misleading to discuss our US immigration "problem" without putting it into the context of globalization. Nazario is clearly critical of the choices her subjects make, but what are the alternatives? It's fair to open this question for conversation, but if you read this story, realize that this is not the end of the discussion--it's barely the beginning. This should be used as an introduction to a discussion on immigration--not the basis for that discussion. A good teaching tool--but keep the discussion going and use other sources as well. A colleague in social science plans to use it in class: it's interesting how Nazario's characterization of Enrique is extremely sympathetic UNTIL he reaches the US border--once across it, he becomes, quite simply, a social problem.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 26, 2009 3:15:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2009 3:28:04 AM PST
Alex says:
I like the way you evaluate the book for what it is and how you use it as a teaching tool to spark intelligent discussions. I totally understand when you feel you need more context and insights about Enrique's thoughts and feelings, and how that would have made the story more compelling. Enrique's journey is, nonetheless, an amazing story, but if you're looking for a different take on immigration, allow me to recommend a book that offers the opposite side of the same coin. Chronicles of a Nomad: Memoirs of an Immigrant (ISBN: 9789609309189) was written by an immigrant (not a journalist) and it's about a boy who (other than being an immigrant) had very little little in common with Enrique. It provides a bold new perspective on immigration by telling the story of a kid who had everything, but still immigrated. While still having social value, this title would also be fun for teens to read in class. Thank you for your review.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 2:52:19 PM PDT
Claude says:
Excellent points! I totally agree! For that those reasons and others I have seen this book work much better in Chicano Studies courses at the college level. It is an Auto-Biography of a Mexican Girl that came to LA when she was 12 and worked hard to graduate with an Accounting Degree from Cal State Northridge. 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

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2014 7:40:09 AM PDT
Darek Ball says:
Do you read this with high school freshmen? I want to teach this as well with freshmen and wanted to know if you found this at their reading level.
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