Published: April 10, 2024

Solito: A Memoir, by Javier Zamora, has been selected as the title for the 2024/25 Buffs One Read, a campus program that builds community and tradition through the shared reading of one book. 

Solito is the gripping story of Zamora’s three-thousand-mile journey to be reunited with his parents, starting in his small town in El Salvador, traveling through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. It was selected from a short list of five titles as best fitting this year’s Buffs One Read theme of Courage.

“The Buffs One Read is an excellent way for first year and transfer students to join the campus community and build upon our one read traditions,” said Robert H. McDonald, dean of the University Libraries and senior vice provost of Online and Extended Education. “The University Libraries are dedicated to providing students with opportunities to discover perspectives that broaden their worldview and to enable campus annual traditions that build community and a sense of belonging among students.”

Buffs One Read is a campus reading program sponsored by the University Libraries that is now entering its fourth year. It is specifically aimed at first year and transfer students to help them make connections during their first semester on campus, but it is open to the entire campus community and we encourage everyone to participate.

“Faculty can help foster community and engagement by reading the Buffs One Read book with our students in our courses,” said Shelly Miller, professor of Mechanical Engineering and chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly. “I look forward to learning all the ways that my colleagues embrace this opportunity to read with their students this story of perseverance and grit. I plan to read Solito and use the instructional resources in my Engineering First Year seminar course next fall semester.”  

The University Libraries annually releases a Canvas community course that is specifically built to support Buffs One Read content that can easily be integrated into any course on campus. Campus collaborators are planning programming and events for the coming year. If you are interested in collaborating on related programming or would like to learn more, please contact

“So often migration stories are second hand accounts reported by the media,” said Cynthia Keller, chair of the Buffs One Read selection committee and member of the Libraries Learning & Engagement Team. “But, in Solito, Zamora recounts his own experiences as a nine year old, including the hardships he faced and, importantly, the generosity of a community forged during the long journey. The selection committee was impressed by the high quality of Zamora’s writing and the courage inherent in writing such a vulnerable memoir.”

Previous One Read texts were: The Book of Joy, Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams in 2023; Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Wisdom of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer in 2022; and American Like Me: Reflection on Life Between Cultures, edited by America Ferrera in 2021. First year students in these years received a free copy of the text as well as resources to help attend or develop their own learning experiences with these titles`