Apprentice Book

Everything Is Far from Here, Christina Henriquez

Reflection #1: MY CHOICE

Out of the three short stories that we have read so far this semester, this has been the one that has moved me the most. Henriquez tore down the walls of what is ignored and hidden from us on a daily basis and showed us what immigrants to the United States seeking asylum face on their journey and arrival here. Once I decided on this story, I then began to look through the pages to find which sentence, paragraph, or scene stuck out to me the most. I began to realize that while I was reading this the first time for class, I actually highlighted all of the portions that stuck out to me the most, which turned out to be the ones that moved me the most emotionally. 

So, from there, I asked myself why these particular sentences and paragraphs stuck out to me. I then identified three main themes: What struck me as a United States citizen, as a Woman, and as a Human Being. Thus, my concept was solidified. My goal was to capture how an author can impact a particular audience. There is no doubt that the passages I chose for each section would have fallen under different themes for readers that differ from me. Regardless, I believe Henriquez was able to affect us on that deeper, human level. That is why I chose it as my last theme. I tried to make my themes go from specific to more broad (applying to everyone who reads it) in my book, with the intent of affecting MY audience the way that Henriquez was able to affect me with this story.

Front cover
Pages 1 & 2
Pages 2 & 3

Pages 4 & 5
Back cover

Reflection #1: BOOKMAKING

The decoration of my book involved less drawing and focused more on a sort of cut-and-paste style. I looked at the annotations and highlights that I made in my original copy of the text when I first read it, added those quotes to a document, then printed that document, highlighted the same sections that I had highlighted in my original copy of the story, and then cut them out and organized them by my three themes as a reader: I was born an American citizen, I am a woman, I am a human being. I wanted to show the viewers of this book what stuck out to me as a reader, and to show them why it moved me. So, I started to write my reactions directly onto the highlighted quotes in each theme. I wanted to show why each quote moved me.

Then, I started to write the words all over the pages, repeating them in multiple directions, sort of overwhelming the viewer with the emotion and thoughts that I felt, purposefully. On the last page, under the theme of I am a human, I also made sure to work in a theme into that title that says We are all human, which the reader will see woven into the I am header. This last page has the most words and descriptions and reactions to the quotes I selected. I wanted to try and make it the most moving since we are all human, so I put the words all over the page, more than the previous two. 

I worked on my front and back covers last. For the front cover, I chose the quote that reflects the title of the story, Everything Is Far from Here. I wanted to introduce the reader to what the inside of the book was like with the cut-and-paste art of the quotes paired with my own voice written in-between these quotes. On the back cover, I directly stated the three themes, the effect that a writer has on a particular audience, what the highlighted portions meant to me, the raw nature of the highlights that I originally made when I first read the story, and how a reader’s response is another way to tell a story. This was a final way to move my audience through my reaction to the story. I think it came together well.