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The Book of Rosy: A Mother's Story of Separation at the Border (Hardcover)

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“Offers hope in the face of desperate odds” – ELLE Magazine, ELLE’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020

“[D]isturbing and unforgettable memoir…This wrenching story brings to vivid life the plight of the many families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.” – Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“[The] haunting and eloquent…narrative of a Guatemalan woman's desperate search for a better life." -Kirkus, STARRED Review


Compelling and urgently important, The Book of Rosy is the unforgettable story of one brave mother and her fight to save her family.

When Rosayra “Rosy” Pablo Cruz made the agonizing decision to seek asylum in the United States with two of her children, she knew the journey would be arduous, dangerous, and quite possibly deadly. But she had no choice: violence—from gangs, from crime, from spiraling chaos—was making daily life hell. Rosy knew her family’s one chance at survival was to flee Guatemala and go north.

After a brutal journey that left them dehydrated, exhausted, and nearly starved, Rosy and her two little boys arrived at the Arizona border. Almost immediately they were seized and forcibly separated by government officials under the Department of Homeland Security’s new “zero tolerance” policy. To her horror Rosy discovered that her flight to safety had only just begun.

In The Book of Rosy, with an unprecedented level of sharp detail and soulful intimacy, Rosy tells her story, aided by Julie Schwietert Collazo, founder of Immigrant Families Together, the grassroots organization that reunites mothers and children. She reveals the cruelty of the detention facilities, the excruciating pain of feeling her children ripped from her arms, the abiding faith that staved off despair—and the enduring friendship with Julie, which helped her navigate the darkness and the bottomless Orwellian bureaucracy.

A gripping account of the human cost of inhumane policies, The Book of Rosy is also a paean to the unbreakable will of people united by true love, a sense of justice, and hope for a better future.

About the Author


Rosayra Pablo Cruz is the mother of four children. She owned a small clothing store in Guatemala before coming to the U.S. Now living in New York, she is the co-president of her oldest son's Parent Teacher Association and is active in her church and community. She has applied for asylum for her and her sons and is in the middle of legal proceedings.




Julie Schwietert Collazo is a bilingual (English-Spanish) writer, editor, and translator, and a former creative arts therapist. She has co-written and edited a book about Pope Francis, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is a bestseller in Italy. Her work has appeared in a number of media outlets, including Outside, Scientific American, Discover, Latina, The Guardian, and Time, and she has contributed to several books. She lives in New York City.

Praise For…


“[The] haunting and eloquent…narrative of a Guatemalan woman's desperate search for a better life."
Kirkus (STARRED Review)

“A must read. Gripping, beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming. This intimate tale of one woman's journey across the border shines a light on the circumstances that have led thousands of women to risk all in order to give their children a safer, better life. It's a testament to the compassion of strangers and that in these troubled times, storytelling still has the power to increase our empathy and understanding. Reading this book will change you for the better.”
J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

A deeply moving and very important book that tells the human story behind the tragedy of Central Americans seeking asylum in the US. This testament to the power of family, faith and community in the face of inhumane policies is gripping and eloquently and powerfully written. It ought to be read by everyone who claims to be an American. It ought to be read by everyone who is a citizen of the world.”
John Perkins, New York Times bestselling Author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman and Touching the Jaguar

“I am forever astonished by Rosayra, for her unbelievable strength to share this story with us, while still healing from its traumas and fighting for asylum. The Book of Rosy is a brave recording of one of America's most shameful moments.”
Christopher Soto, author of Sad Girl Poems


Product Details
ISBN: 9780062941923
ISBN-10: 0062941925
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 256
Language: English