New Students Reading ‘Enrique’s Journey,’ Probing Immigration Story

By whitlocd | June 23, 2010

“Orientation to the University consists of many facets, not the least of which is an Orientation to academic life,” notes Dr. Norah Shultz, Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Education.

“As a way of helping new students to become active members of our academic community, it is our tradition to ask new students to read a book during the summer, with the expectation that they will be part of a small discussion group during New Student Orientation in August.”

This year’s new student reading is Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazaria, based on her Los Angeles Times newspaper series of a boy’s dangerous travels from Honduras to find his mother in the United States. Enrique’s Journey tells a true story of one boy’s dangerous travels from Honduras to find his mother in the United States. Sixteen-year-old Enrique crosses Mexico by clinging to the tops of freight trains. In Mexico, he faces beatings and mugging by gang members, extreme hunger and thirst, and the constant threat of jail or deportation. He is caught seven times by Mexican police and sent back home. Readers will find out if he makes it on his seventh try–and what he finds if he reaches America.

Author Sonia Nazaria will be speaking at Arcadia University on Oct. 27, but the new student discussions begin during New Student Orientation on Aug. 28. Freshmen will meet with their Learning Communities, and transfer students will meet in small groups with other transfer students. Some topics new students may discuss:

  • Can there ever be good reasons for a mother to leave her son?
  • How much will a desparate teenage boy risk to reunite with his mother? How much would you risk?
  • What is the recent controversy surrounding Arizona’a new immigration law? How does it affect us? Why should we care?
  • How are we impacted by the struggles and heart-wrenching choices of poor people who live a world away?

The Arcadia community can buy Enrique’s Journey at a discount and contribute to a good cause at the same time by purchasing the book on using Arcadia’s Summer Reading link ( A percentage of the proceeds will be credited to Arcadia University and donated to a charity that fights global hunger. “Please use the Summer Reading link to make your purchase count,” adds Shultz.