OBOC: Enrique’s “Journey” to CCC

By TASHEIKA SCOTT

Staff Writer

It’s the fall semester again, and everyone on campus is talking about the book selected for our One Book, One College program, Enrique’s Journey. One Book, One College was first developed in 1993, by Dr. Eleanor Carducci an English professor at the Sussex County Community College.

CCC’s president, Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe, learned about the program while working there and later invited Dr. Carducci for a workshop to inform interested staff members at CCC. The program was launched in 2004, and since then, the One Book, One College program has introduced books such as James McBride’s The Color of Water, Amy Hill Hearth’s Strong Medicine Speaks: A Native American Elder Has Her Say and the college’s favorite, Steve Lopez’s, The Soloist.

Combined with about a dozen members, the One Book One College committee meets once in the summer and periodically through the semester to make a selection for the fall semester.

Author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Sonia Nazario, has spent 20 years of her life as a project reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she wrote and reported on social issues. Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and Argentina, has written about Latinos in the United States and extensively from Latin America. She is also a graduate of Williams College, and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California.  Enrique’s Journey, a national bestseller, has been published in eight different languages and has been selected as the “freshman read” by 46 colleges and high schools nationwide. The publication of Enrique’s Journey has won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalist Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall.

Enrique’s Journey is a true story that retells the odyssey of a Honduran boy who encountered hardship and peril to reunite with his mother in the United States. At five years old, Enrique was devastated       when his mother Lourdes, fled to the United States to find a job because she was too poor to support her family. While in the United States, Lourdes was able to send money home so her starving kids could eat and go to school beyond third grade.

Like always, promises were made and then broken. Enrique would plead for her return, but his wish was never granted. Instead, Enrique took matters into his own hands.

Enrique sets off from Tegucigalpa, heading towards North Carolina with nothing but a visual of his mother and her phone number on a piece of paper. Enrique had a lot of decisions to make during his adventure, good and bad. He was accompanied by other immigrants who were in different situations, but had one common goal of finding their loved ones in the United States.

Along the way, Enrique encountered immigration authorities, corrupt cops, and dead migrants. Filled with courage and fueled by the kindness of strangers, Enrique was able to reunite with his mother.

Thousands of children try to find their parents in the United States every year.

Enrique’s Journey is definitely a thriller; readers grip at the tip of their pages wondering what happens next. The One Book, One College Committee will host a session with author Sonia Nazario of Enrique’s Journey on November 2 at 7pm in the FPAC. At that time, anyone with questions can present them directly to the author. There is no charge for attendance, however, some professors offer extra credit for current students who attend the session. If you haven’t purchased your copy, Enrique’s Journey is available online and in the college bookstore.

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