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Detail from the cover of 'Enrique's Journey' ()

Against Perils and Odds: A Boy's Trek to the U.S.

Feb 20, 2006 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Many women from Central America work in the United States to support their children back home. The story of one boy's journey to find his mother is the subject of a new book by journalist Sonia Nazario.

Nazario says that 48,000 children, some as young as 7, make the journey alone each year. Along the way, they risk their lives and their freedom as they face predatory smugglers and trolling immigration authorities.

Writing for The Los Angeles Times in 2003, Nazario researched and wrote a series feature articles about Enrique, a Honduran boy desperate to find his mother, who had left home when her son was 5.

As a teenager, Enrique finally decides to travel to America himself, taking with him the only clue he has to his mother's whereabouts: a North Carolina phone number.

Nazario's articles, which resulted in a Pulitzer Prize, form the basis of Enrique's Journey, along with photographs of Enrique's struggle (the series also won a Pulitzer for feature photography).

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