Solito - Javier Zamora


By Javier Zamora

  • Release Date: 2022-09-06
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 120 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY • A young poet tells the inspiring story of his migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this “gripping memoir” (NPR) of bravery, hope, and finding family.  

LONGLISTED: PEN/Open Book Award, PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award • I read Solito with my heart in my throat and did not burst into tears until the last sentence. What a person, what a writer, what a book.—Emma Straub
“A riveting tale of perseverance and the lengths humans will go to help each other in times of struggle.”—Dave Eggers


ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, NPR, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Vulture, She Reads, Kirkus Reviews

Trip. My parents started using that word about a year ago—“one day, you’ll take a trip to be with us. Like an adventure.”  
Javier Zamora’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks.
At nine years old, all Javier can imagine is rushing into his parents’ arms, snuggling in bed between them, and living under the same roof again. He cannot foresee the perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions that await him; nor can he know that those two weeks will expand into two life-altering months alongside fellow migrants who will come to encircle him like an unexpected family.
A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.


  • Magnifico

    By Bilingue Stef
    I loved this book! For many years I was a bilingual guidance counselor who worked with immigrant students from El Salvador and other Central American countries. I know at least second hand what people went through just to get to the US. What I would have wanted was a glossary or a little dictionary so the reader could consult for all of the slang Spanish used in the book. Although I speak Spanish, there were many words that I wish I had a better meaning. I think Javier’s story would make a great motion picture. I hope someone will try a write a screenplay for this book!
  • Heart wrenching, well written

    By mmjimenezrn
    I love how the author describes his experiences as he felt them as a young child. I can only imagine what this experience was like for him and so many other children that cross the border.
  • Best book I’ve read all year.

    By JudyVP
    Heart rending and moving. Will break your heart and warm your soul at the same time. I just wish it hadn’t ended.