This summer, Six Foot Press and Baylor University’s Global Hunger and Migration Project present A Journey Toward Hope, co-written by Baylor professor Dr. Victor Hinojosa with children’s author Coert Voorhees and illustrated by Pura Belpré Award winner Susan Guevara. A Journey Toward Hope follows four unaccompanied migrant children who meet along the arduous journey from their homes in Central America through Mexico to the U.S. border. The book will be available in both English and Spanish editions and includes four pages of nonfiction back matter contributed by Baylor’s Global Hunger and Migration Project.
An ode to the power of hope and connection even in the face of uncertainty and fear, A Journey Toward Hope tells the story of Rodrigo, a 14-year-old escaping violence in his native Honduras; Alessandra, a 10-year-old Guatemalan whose first language is Q’eqchi’; and Salvadoran siblings Laura (13) and Nando (7). Though their reasons for making the journey are different and the way north is perilous, the four children band together, finding strength in one another as they share the dreams of their past and the hopes for their future.
A Journey Toward Hope is illustrated by Susan Guevara, two-time Pura Belpré Award winner and renowned illustrator of the best-selling children’s book Chato’s Kitchen. “We are blessed to have an artist of Susan Guevara’s talent and reputation illustrating our book. She has brought meticulous research and great personal devotion to the book’s characters,” said Charles Kim, Publisher of Six Foot Press. “You can hear the children’s voices and feel their sense of purpose as you follow their story.”
In 2017, Baylor University launched an initiative to create teams of students and professors who would conduct research and design interventions that address some of the world’s most complex issues. Drs. Lori Baker and Victor Hinojosa started what is now the Global Hunger and Migration Project (GHMP) within Baylor’s Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. Dr. Hinojosa explains, “This book came from two impulses: the desire to tell the stories of these children to a wide audience and the desire for these courageous child refugees to see themselves represented. Our students believed that if others knew what they knew about this crisis, they would want to help, too.”
Every year, roughly 50,000 unaccompanied minors arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border to present themselves for asylum or related visas. The majority of these children are fleeing the systemic violence of Central America’s “Northern Triangle”: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
“Parents in the Northern Triangle are forced into unimaginable choices regarding the life and well-being of their children,” says Dr. Lori Baker, Baylor University Vice Provost and Professor of Anthropology and the Executive Director of Reuniting Families. “Our students want to bring humanity and love into the ongoing conversations in the U.S. regarding child migration and have done so beautifully through this story. All children deserve hope and the opportunity for a future free of violence and extreme poverty.”
A Journey Toward Hope will be published in both English and Spanish on August 4, 2020.
About the Creators:
Victor Hinojosa, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Political Science in the Honors Program at Baylor University where his primary research is in Latin American Politics and U.S.-Latin American relations. His articles have appeared in scholarly books and journals including Terrorism and Political Violence, Political Science Quarterly, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Mennonite Quarterly Review. Dr. Hinojosa currently directs the Global Hunger and Migration Project, a social innovation laboratory at Baylor University that is bringing together an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students to address the challenges of child migration from Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador).
Coert Voorhees is the author the novels On the Free, In Too Deep (2013 Junior Library Guild Selection), Lucky Fools (2012 Junior Library Guild Selection), and The Brothers Torres (2009 ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults), as well as the picture book Storm Wrangler. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Chile and Visiting Writer in Residence at Rice University, and he now lives with his family in Houston, Texas.
Susan Guevara is a visual storyteller. She tells her tales with illustrations, paintings, drawings, and sculptures. For 27 years, her work as a children’s picture book illustrator has been recognized for its contribution to literature set in Latino culture. Her work has been included in the 2005 New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books of the Year, won two Pura Belpré Illustrator Awards and the inaugural Tomás Rivera Award, and most recently, a Pura Belpré Honor Award for her book Little Roja Riding Hood (written by Susan Middleton Elya). Her book Chato’s Kitchen (written by Gary Soto) was recognized as one of the Best 100 Books of the Last 100 Years by the New York Public Library. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
About Six Foot Press:
Based in Houston, TX, Six Foot Press publishes art books, children’s books, novels, graphic novels, and comic books, in addition to narrative content based on existing Six Foot properties. Six Foot Press is proud to be distributed exclusively to the worldwide book trade by Ingram Publisher Services. Six Foot Press books are available wherever books are sold.