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Reading Across Rhode Island: 2024: Solito by Javier Zamora

Further Reading

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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.


Borrow a Book Set:

1. Email John Bucci ( with the following information:

  • Date of your book discussion
  • How many books you need
  • Library location to send materials to

2. John will let you know when to expect your materials, and where to send them when you are done.

3. Your books will come uncataloged. Use the enclosed book log (or your own method) to track who borrows books from you and when they are returned. Do your best to collect all books before passing them along, but if a book becomes lost, prioritize passing the sets along to the next library in a timely fashion, letting John know if there is a missing copy. 


Book Club in a Bag:

Independent book discussion groups can borrow a book set from libraries around the state, thanks to RI Center for the Book! The following libraries have a book set for Solito. Contact one of these libraries today to borrow a set:

  • Barrington Public Library
  • Jamestown Public Library
  • North Kingstown Public Library
  • Coventry Public Library
  • Newport Public Library

Want your library to receive a Book Club in a Bag? Contact Emily at or Kate at 

Programming from RARI Partners

Poetry workshop with Tina Cane

Solito by Xavier Zamora is a memoir of migration, survival, and family.

Its themes are universal, but resonate especially with young people from other

parts of the world who have made the United States their new home.

Writing poems can be a powerful way for all people to explore and share their stories--

personal and otherwise. In poetry workshop with Tina Cane, students of all ages have

an opportunity to reflect on their individual experiences, while learning about form

and some of the literary tools poets use to shape stories into poetry.

Schools, libraries, senior centers and organizations interested in hosting a workshop should contact

Presentations with Living Literature

Living Literature will be offering libraries 2 programming options. 

  1. A traditional 45 minute, readers’ theatre style presentation of Solito performed by three actors.
  2. Collaboration with the students of Manton Avenue Project (MAP) as they create and produce mini plays in response to the Solito text, and Living Literature’s performance. In an effort to make this program accessible we offer a range for our fee.

To book a performance or discuss programming fees, email Tanya Martin

Welcoming Library Kits

Four Welcoming Libraries are available to borrow by Rhode Island public libraries. Each Welcoming Library is a collection of acclaimed picture books featuring New Arrival and New American families representing communities across Rhode Island. Highlighted in an accompanying pop-up display unit, the books have embedded discussion questions written by I'm Your Neighbor Books. These questions help people of all ages and backgrounds have conversations on immigration, welcoming, and belonging.

The Welcoming Library collection and its pop-up display unit packs into two transit bins and travels between libraries via LORI delivery. An online toolkit is available to help support borrowing libraries with everything from display set up to lesson plans and programming guides. Learn more at

Public libraries can request kits directly on the website. School libraries should contact Danielle Margarida directly. 


More Ideas for Engaging with New Americans

Ideas from Programming Librarian