Escaping the Salvadoran Civil War, Javier’s parents migrated to the U.S., leaving Javier in the care of his grandparents and aunt until they could send for him. He can’t wait for the day when he can be reunited with his parents. In 1999, when he’s 9 years old, the time comes for him to make the “trip”. His grandfather can only accompany him as far as Guatemala, so after that, Javier is in the hands of the hired coyotes and strangers. What was supposed to be a 2 week trip turns into a 2 months-long odyssey over 3000 miles on boats, walking through deserts, facing hunger and thirst, deceptions, arrests and so much more.
Told through the eyes of 9 year-old Javier, Solito is a harrowing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s a very moving story that shines a light on the desperation and hardship faced by those who take this journey. At the same time, it shows how those same hardships shaped the bonds of friendship and trust between Javier and his surrogate “family” on the road. Recommended for book clubs and fans of narrative non fiction.