Rutgers University

Rigoberto González grew up in a family of immigrant farmworkers. Now he writes award-winning books

Rigoberto González grew up in a family of immigrant farmworkers. Now he writes award-winning books

In 1980, I arrived with my family to the U.S.-Mexico border from Michoacán with what little we could bring with us on the three-day journey by bus. Not long after, once more members of our extended family joined the migration, 19 of us moved into a tiny apartment in Thermal, Calif., where we didn’t have much privacy or personal space for the next few years. My brother and cousins took to the streets to claim that independence, but as the introvert among the group of 11 kids, I reached for the books.

I reached for the books because I had learned very quickly that they were special and that access to them made me unique. Not only did very few people around me gravitate...

61°