Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Utah
Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Utah

Book Summaries

EnRique's Journey

by Sonia Nazario


Enrique is a 17-year-old boy from Honduras who makes the difficult journey from his hometown of Tegucigalpa to the United States in order to be reunited with his mother.  He rides on top of trains and is deported 7 times.  This is a story of hope and persistance in the face of harsh obstacles.  


By Patricia McCormick


Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp.  Her step father sells her into prostitution in India.     This book takes the reader into life in Nepal and the brothel in Mombai.  I wanted to hope for the small window of escape that kept her going even as each time her efforts were crushed and she suffered yet another abuse. 

The Book of Unkown Americans

by Cristina Henriquez


A boy and girl who fall in love. Two families whose hopes collide with destiny. An extraordinary novel that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American. Maribel Rivera falls from a ladder in her hometown in Patzcurao, Mexico.  Her family obtains a visa and a job to move to America to attend school where she can go to a school that will reabilitate her brain trauma.  She meets Mayor Toro who's family is from Panama.  The families live in an apartment complex of "Americans" who orginated in Central America .  The book brings out stories of many lives as they are complicated by the North American culture.  It has a web of regret and miscommunication that made me want to shout at the characters " no you don't understand.....

Girls Like Us:

Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale


A Memoir by Rachel Lloyd who survived her difficult family situation in London by escaping to Germany where she worked in the sex industry and felt a sense of belonging to a pimp.  She escaped "the life" and moved to New York City and founded GEMS specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.  The book explains the place between a rock and a hard spot, the lure of being needed and the co-dependence involved. It reveals the cultural hypocrisy of dehumanizing a prostitute and not seeing a girl that is 11-18 as a child.  

This Flowing Toward Me, Marilyn Lacey

A story of God Arriving In Strangers.  This is the story of a nun who belongs to the Sisters of Mercy in San Jose California.   She volunteers to help refugees move from a flight to the next.  She follows this calling by spending time in Laos, Sudan and a ministery of meeting God in strangers.  This is a book I want to reread and use as a tool to interpret the mission experience. It invites me to resolve in this new year to excercise a new way of loving.  

Runaway Girl Escaping LifE on the Streets One Helping Hand At A Time Carissa Phelps

Carissa's family is large and poor.  They have a Jehovah Witness background.  Carissa runs away over and over again looking for someone to belong to and love.  Several teachers, counselors, and mentors help her use her talent at math to  earn an MBA and a law degree.  She wants to save girls from the kind of abuse she experienced beginning at the age of 12.   

Hidden girl the true story of a modern-day child slave by shyima hall

Shyima is from an Egyptian family of 11 children.  She is sold as a slave at the age of 8.  She cooks, cleans, watches children and receives only abuse.  She is rescued by I.C.E. (Immigration Custom Enforcement) agents in California.

   "human trafficking"  involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through threat, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, or abutse of power.

     "slavery" is the ongoing activity of a person who others traffic, own or control.  page 183

     signs to look for:

     clothes-ill fitting or dirty

     not participating

    demeanor no eye contact, shyness, not answering            questions

     keeping odd hours  page 215


Not For Sale The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can fight It David Batstone

This book tells the stories of people who are trafikked and the abolitionist who fight to stop the abuse.  It has many links to the organizations in the book.  It encourages every person to watch for signs of abuse and do what they can even though it seems impossible to help. page 265


Disposable People New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Bales

This book gives examples of old slavery and new slavery.  Featured are prostituion in Thailand ,  old slavery that is part of culture in Mauritania, burning rain forests to make charcoal in Brazil, making bricks in Pakistan, the caste system in India.  It ends with three things we can do to stop slavery: 1. learn and raise awareness <>,

2.Join with others who want to end slavery

3. Act


A History of Asian Americans Strangers from a Different Shore by Ronald Takaki

 This book shows how Asian Americans have been transforming America and also finding themselves beign transformed by America. In 1849 Chinese came to work in the gold rush. Japanese, Filipino, Koreans and East Indians where exploited in agriculture and industrial revolution.  The were victims of the "white only" provision of 1790 Naturalization Law which they worked to nullify in 1952.  They were forced to segregate into Chinatowns and internment camps.  They fought against fascism in World War II as "one people" but remain invisible in mainstream history textbooks and courses.  Their struggles have been a rebellion agains the exclusive constructions of "we, the people" and a constant resolve to help make this  "more perfect union" an ethnically diverse yet united society. 

   In recent times the third and fourth generations identify themselves as Hapa, a Hawaiian term for half white.  "As Asian Americans, we celebrate being not one or the other but both; as hapas or other of mixed race , we can proudly embody the diversity that is America's greatest resource"


Trails of Hope and Terror Testimonies on Immigration by Miguel A. De La Torre

The book presents information and testmonies from different perspectives in the following areas: Borders and their consequences, Economic Realities, Demythologizing the Immigration Debate, Family Values, Politics of Fear, Christian Perspectives, Ethical Responses.

   Passages that made me stop and pray:  "In 2009 there were no administrative mechanism exists that allows the undocumented to "legalize" their status.

To be a Hispanic in the USA today is to be a target of police abuse and brutality. 

If we call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ, what are we expected to do in response to the present immigration crisis?

"Why did you build the wall to keep Mexicans out? Do you think that we are terrorists? We just want to work!"

The borderlands that separate poverty from privilege form a land of ambiguities, paradoxes, and contradictions.  The imaginary line reinforced by walls and guns protects the weatlth accumulated on one side from those stuck on the other side on whose backs a major portion of that wealth was created. .  This space we call borderlands is undergirded by racial and ethnic suppositions."

 In response to the call to act in Matthew 25:35-36 people have been taking a Civil Initiative to bring water, food and medical care to people crossing the desert who are trying to escape extreme poverty. 


Ventures in Mission The cameron House story

This book gives the history of service of the Cameron House in San Francisco's China District.  Cameron House began in 1874.  It has grown and changed to meet the needs of the Chinese Community.  It's main mission is to bring the love of Christ to the people through action, prayer and caring. 


                Gasa Gasa Girl goes to camp                       by Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey

This book is written by an artist and resident in Amanche interment camp. She was a teenager during this time.  The book has photos of her art work that expresses feelings of life in camp.  It also includes photos of her family.  From life in Hollywood Calif to barren south eastern Colorado Lily shares day to day struggles, holidays and an encounter with a guard.  Lily's relationship with her mother is a large part of the book.  Her father was often absent in a cloud of alcohol.  



Fierce Compassion the life of abolitionsist Donaldina cameron by kristin & kathryn wong

This book is a biography of LoMo who worked for 40 years with Chinese women in Chinatown, San Fransisco. She rescued many girls who had been sold into slavery and prostitution.  She was loved and feared in the community.  She worked with the police to break up Tong gang network of trafficking.  She survived the earthquakes and fire keeping her girls safe until the mission could be rebuilt.  An amazing woman, Presbyterian woman. (See ventures in mission above)




PW Moderator

Loyda Kremes 

Wasatch Presbyterian



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