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Javier is nine years old, can t tie his shoes, and dreams of eating orange sherbet ice cream with his parents in the United States. To make his dream come true, he must take a three-thousand-mile journey alone, from his hometown in El Salvador, crossing Guatemala, Mexico and the Sonoran Desert to reach Arizona. papers - at least no real ones. Only a group of travelling strangers and one hired coyote to lead them to safety. It s supposed to last two short weeks. It takes seven. In limbo, between life and death, Javier learns what people will do to survive - and what they will forfeit to save someone else. This is a memoir of perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns and arrests. But it is also a story of trying tacos for the first time, of who passes you their water jug in the scorching heat, and of longing, more than anything, to be in your mother s arms.

About the Author

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador in 1990. His father fled the country when he was one, and his mother when he was about to turn five. Both parents migrations were caused by the U.S.-funded Salvadoran Civil War. When he was nine Javier migrated through Guatemala, Mexico, and the Sonoran Desert. His debut poetry collection, Unaccompanied, explores the impact of the war and immigration on his family. Zamora has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard and holds fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

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