Tag Archives: Sonia Nazario

Checking in on Enrique’s Journey at Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College students pose with Enrique's Journey

Earlier this year, CommonReads brought you the news of Fort Lewis College’s adoption of “FYE favorite” Enrique’s Journey. Written by award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario, the book tells the story of a young boy who leaves his home in Honduras to search for his mother in the United States.

Now Fort Lewis College Assistant Dean of Writing and First Year Experience, Bridget Irish, is following up on the students’ experience with Enrique’s Journey and the author’s visit to campus:

 One of the main goals of our college’s Common Reading Experience is to light a fire in our students’ brains about an important subject that they will have the ability to impact in their lifetime. As immigration is one of those subjects, we chose to give our almost 900 freshmen a free copy of Enrique’s Journey this fall. Our students at FLC are reading all or part of the book in several classes. We invited the book’s author, Sonia Nazario, to give a public talk and to spend a full day with students, faculty, staff ,and members of the larger Durango community. While I am embarrassed that we asked so much of Sonia, she didn’t flinch. She understood that we are trying to get our students engaged in the topic of immigration, motivated to learn, and willing to act as responsible citizens. She dove in and lit that fire! All around campus, our students are saying: I had NO idea! Students are remarking on her ability to make a dense, complicated subject easier for them to begin to understand. They are impresses by her intelligence and her huge heart and passion for her work.

How has your common read been recieved this Fall? Have photos of your students and events to share? E-mail them to rhacademic@randomhouse.com and they could be featured on an upcoming CommonReads post!

Learn more about the Fort Lewis Common Reading Experience program on their website!


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Enrique’s Journey resonates nationwide

Enrique’s Journey, the astonishing true story of a Honduran boy’s perilous quest to reach his mother in the United States, by award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario has been named the second most read book for common reading programs over this past year. The book continues to be read by high schools, universities, and city-wide programs across the nation, and now several more programs are joining the list:

*The city of Memphis, Tenessee has adopted the book for its next One City, One Read program.

*Texas A&M University has selected the book as its Fall 2010 common read and will distribute it to all incoming first year students.

*The University of Southern California will be using Enrique’s Journey in its undergraduate Writing 140 course. Ms. Nazario will be the featured speaker for the university’s Fall Distinguished Lecture Series on Social Issues.

*And many other colleges/universities are reading the book this fall/spring: Allegheny College (Meadville, PA), Arcadia University (Glenside, PA), Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Maricopa County, AZ), Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO), and Hawai’i Pacific University (Honolulu, HI). 

Find a complete list of all universities and programs that have selected Enrique’s Journey for common reading here.

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How Fort Lewis College will embark on Enrique’s Journey

When students at Fort Lewis College return to classes this Fall, they will all be talking about the same book: Enrique’s Journey by award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario. To spark and supplement conversation about this touching and timely story, the administrators of Fort Lewis have tentitively planned a pleathora of events including: discussions, lectures, and book signings with the author; writing workshops within the Mass Communications, Media Writing, and Composition courses; a panel on immigration; an essay contest; and a screening and discussion of the film Maid in America.

All of this because of a boy named in Enrique, who began a perilous odyssey to reunite with his mother after she left their home in Honduras for the United States, hoping to earn money to keep the family afloat. Nazario first chronicled Enrique’s quest  in a Los Angeles Times newspaper series, which won two Pulitzer Prizes.

Says Bridget Irish, Assistant Dean of Writing and the First Year Experience at Fort Lewis College:

We chose Enrique’s Journey because it offers our students opportunities to think, read, write, and talk about important and engaging IDEAS. The book lends itself to the development of an academic conversation as we will have no trouble discovering scholarly research to link to the ideas in the text. And, the book can be used in whole or part in a wide variety of disciplines: Philosophy, Psychology, Geography, Communications, Photography, Sociology, Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies and more.

Have you used Enrique’s Journey in your program? Do you have new and successful campus event ideas to share? Leave us a comment and we feature them for others to read!


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Over 40 programs have followed Enrique’s Journey!

enriques journey

When Enrique was just five years old, his mother Lourdes, seeing no other way out of their poverty in Honduras, decided to make the hazardous trek north. Enrique and his siblings struggled without their mother, until he finally made his way from the rough streets of Tegucigalpa through Mexico and across the dangerous Texan border. Nazario’s expert reporting allows students to encounter each setback alongside Enrique, and the result is as suspenseful and harrowing as it is informative. Enrique’s Journey is a timely account of one anguished family’s experience with an issue of international scope and urgency–illegal immigration–but is also a timeless, mythic story of a dangerous journey undertaken to make a broken family whole.

“This portrait of poverty and family ties has the poential to reshape American conversations about immigration.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The following universities and programs have adopted this book:

Colleges and Universities:
Bluffton University (Bluffton, OH)
Central College (Pella, IA)
Edgewood College (Madison,WI)
Florida Southern College (Lakeland, FL)
Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO)
Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN)
Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, AR)
Idaho State University (Pocatello, ID)
Indiana University (Kokomo, IN)
University of Missouri (Kansas City,MO)
College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati,OH)
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
University of North Carolina (Charlotte, NC)
University of North Carolina (Greensboro, NC)
Notre Dame de Namur University (Belmont, CA)
Peace College (Raleigh,NC)
Pennsylvania State University (Harrisburg, PA)
Rockhurst University (Kansas City,MO)
Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA)
Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN)

High Schools:
Bay Shore High School (Bay Shore,NY)
Bonanza High School (Las Vegas, NV)
Burlingame High School (Burlingame, CA)
Challenge Early College High School (Houston, TX)
Eaglecrest High School (Centennial, CO)
Hudson High School (Hudson, OH)
La Jolla Country Day School (La Jolla, CA)
Middletown High School (Middletown, NJ)
Putnam County High School (Eatonton, GA)
Santa Ana High School (Santa Ana, CA)
Santa Monica High School (Santa Monica, CA)
St. Ignatius High School (Cleveland, OH)
Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School (Bourne,MA)
Wheeling High School (Wheeling, IL)

One City,One Book”:

Glendale, CA
San Diego, CA
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Yuma, AZ


Learn more about Enrique and his story on the book’s website.

Read an excerpt of the book here.

Teacher’s Guide Available

Order an Examination Copy here.

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