Christina Diaz Gonzalez Red Umbrella

ISBN 13: 9781613830178

Red Umbrella

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"The Red Umbrella" is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan--an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.

In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucia alvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.

As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, Lucia's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States--on their own.

Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucia struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she "ever" see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?

"The Red Umbrella" is a moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

"From the Hardcover edition."

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Christina Diaz Gonzalez based this powerful novel on the experiences of her parents, and of the more than 14,000 other unaccompanied minors who came to the United States through Operation Pedro Pan. This mass exodus of children is a little-known and fascinating piece of history, and Gonzalez has created a story that brings that history vibrantly to life.

 

Gonzalez practiced law for several years before returning to her childhood passion for stories and writing. The Red Umbrella is her first novel.

 

Christina Diaz Gonzalez lives in Miami, Florida, with her husband and two sons. You can visit her on the Web at www.christinagonzalez.com.


From the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6–9—Fourteen-year-old Lucía lives an easy middle-class life in 1961 Cuba, thinking only about clothes, boys, and dances. When Communist revolutionaries occupy her town, an escalating witch hunt against capitalists compels her parents to send her and her brother to the U.S. under the care of the Catholic Welfare Bureau (as part of "Operation Pedro Pan," which—the endnotes explain—was the largest-ever exodus of unaccompanied children in the West). Lucía eventually settles with a foster family in Nebraska, where she comes to terms with her duel identity as a Cuban exile and an American teen. She must also piece together a picture of what's happening to her parents and friends at home from interrupted phone calls, censored letters, and newspaper articles. This well-written novel has a thoroughly believable protagonist and well-chosen period details. It should be noted, however, that Gonzalez portrays the single sympathetic Communist character as increasingly brainwashed. Few readers will recognize the polemics driving this convincing story, but as an introduction to the history and politics of the Cuban-exile community, it could generate some excellent classroom discussions.—Rhona Campbell, Washington, DC Public Library
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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