Solito: A Memoir

Written by:
Javier Zamora
Narrated by:
Javier Zamora

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2022
17 hours 8 minutes
New York Times Bestseller • Read With Jenna Book Club Pick as seen on Today • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiography • Winner of the American Library Association Alex Award

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.  

Finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction • One of the New York Public Library’s Ten Best Books of the Year

Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the PEN/Open Book 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.
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Beautifully narrated! I could imagine all the details from the perspective of a child. Can’t believe that there is so many children that have similar experiences, and are able to survive and tell their story.

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Beautifully written and narrated. Zamora is a poet and it is evident in his writing. The book has great detail and is narrated by the author. It tells his journey coming to the US as a 9 year old. Makes you feel like you are with him on the journey. Highly recommend it especially for those who want to learn more about the immigrant experience.

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highly recommend. it hit really close to home for me but in a good way. a beautiful reminder of the humanity & love that exists in the immigrant community.

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Very engaging story well written with lots of details and amazing how he remembers all those details so many years later What a life experience for anyone let alone a 9 year old child

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- Amazing! Conmovedor hasta las lágrimas. Gracias Javier por compartir tu historia y así poder entender aunque sea un poco lo que muchos amigos, familiares y conocidos han tenido que vivir para llegar hasta la USA.

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Excellent memoir of a young child's journey to the United States.

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Pam S.

A lot of detail but from a boy’s view. Had to smile occasionally but was so nervous for him too. Can’t imagine how he must have felt to have such vivid memories.

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Margaret S.

Loved this book.

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An amazing book! I hope he reunited with those who stood with him during his trial and tribulations

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Lydia N.

An amazing memoir of a young boy migrating from El Salvador to the US to be reunited with his parents. Zamora's strength and bravery shined in this book with grizzly experiences and a sense of humor. I look forward to reading more of Zamora's work.

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Mollie M.

Incredible. I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I’d finished it. Highly recommend

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I CRIED SO HARD! OPENED up my imigration trauma! Stuff we dont talk about and as children we supress for our safety as well as our families safety! So well written, such a a good book! I really need to hear this story because in a way it was my story! Thank you Javier!

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Ivan M.

Excellently described all that difficult and painful path crossing the border, which is even more traumatic for an 8 year old boy. God guarded you all the time and I am glad you made it. I wish you will find all the people you care more in this journey to USA!

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Jennifer L

Best audio book I’ve ever listened to. Eye opening, heart wrenching details of the frightening journey across the border. Seriously magnificent book.

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Abigail R.

great book

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