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MY BOOKS / MIS LIBROS

 
Flight to Freedom

Yara Garcia's family has lived in Havana, Cuba, for several generations, but when Communist ruler Fidel Castro clamps down on personal freedoms, the Garcias are forced to flee the island. In Miami, where they settle with other exiles, 13-year-old Yara struggles to learn a new language, make new friends, and adapt to a strange land with foreign customs.

 

So do her parents, sisters, and grandparents, who adjust to new lives with varying success. As tension develops in the family, Yara realizes how different she is from her classmates, most of whom are allowed more privileges than she is. 

 

Set in the turbulent years of 1967 and 1968, this poignant book about immigration and separation provides a mesmerizing account of a young woman’s resiliency in the face of change and a family’s efforts to make a new life far from home. Recommended for grades 5-8.

 
Birthday Parties in Heaven

In this collection of  eloquent and moving essays, Ana Veciana-Suarez explores many of the topics closest to our hearts. In “Stitchwork,” she expresses her mixed feelings about a mother who devotes all her attention to her family.

 

In the title essay, she examines, with unflinching honesty, the loss of her first husband, then gives us a humorous and compelling account of her remarriage in “Second Time Around.”

 

Veciana-Suarez offers wise reflections on everything from the bond between sisters to the the anxiety of swimsuit shopping season. By turns witty and big-hearted, poignant and defiant, these essays open a door to the ways one woman and her extended family cope with both the joys and heartbreaks of life.

 
The Chin Kiss King

The Chin Kiss King is a heart-wrenching novel that chronicles the lives of three generations of Cuban American women in Miami: Cuca, zealous believer in the hovering presence of spirits; her daughter, Adela, a superstitious, gambling cosmetologist with a weakness for men; and Adela’s daughter, Maribel, a marketing research assistant who does not know the power of dreams yet draws spiritual nourishment from the older women. 

 

When Maribel’s son, Victor, comes into the world with a severe birth defect on a fateful Leap Day in 1992, the three women who make up this family and who are his sustenance are forced to confront the inextricable ties that blind them to one another.

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