the final countdown + books you should read

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The semester is winding down, at long last. One paper and two books to go, and then it’s two weeks of freedom. While this may be the shortest break I’ve ever had, I’m planning on cherishing every well-rested minute of it. Oh sleep, how I’ve missed you…

This has been a busy–yet rewarding–couple of months. Add in some frustration, a lot of excitement, a sprinkling of growth, and quite a few laughs, and you’ve got a good picture of my semester. One of the most rewarding aspects of the last few months has been all that I’ve learned and experienced in a class called Migration, Social Justice, and Human Rights. The required reading for this class was fantastic. And since you, too, might be coming up on a Christmas break, I thought I’d suggest a couple books for your reading list.

Enrique’s Journey is the Sonya Nazario’s article-turned-book, Pulitzer Prize-winning account of a teenage boy’s relentless attempt to migrate from Honduras to the U.S. to find his mother. This one story represents a thousand stories of children who risk their lives to seek reunions with parents who are working in the States.

This book will give you the inside view of an immigration detention center that perhaps you never wanted to have. Ana Amalia Guzman Molina shares her experience of being separated from her children and detained for almost a year in The Power of Love: My Experience in a U.S. Immigration Jail. It’s pretty difficult to find, but I was able to get it through inter-library loan at my local public library.

Finally, national best-seller A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is Ishmael Beah’s personal account of being torn from his family during the Sierra Leone civil war, and eventually being recruited as a solider–at the age of 12. My disclaimer is that this book is quite graphic, yet not without a purpose. Beah is an incredible writer who brings all the horror of war and the confusion of a child right to your fingertips. It’s been too easy to hear news of war atrocities and mass displacement and just continue on with my day. That’s not so easily done now that I’ve read this book.

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