Eleven-year-old Ada De Jesús was on the cusp of her teens when she moved to the United States from Puerto Rico. Hurricane Hugo had just decimated the island and her father couldn’t find a job. In Chicago, the white dress she arrived in didn’t protect her from the snow and frigid temperatures! Constantly exposed to new things, she developed a resilience that served her well. “From one place to another, like riding a bike, if you keep pedaling, you won’t fall.” Ada discovered that students in the United States were frequently disrespectful to their teachers. At school she often felt like a two-year-old as she grappled with a completely new language. In addition to navigating a different culture, she had to deal with all the issues familiar to teenage girls: the growth of body hair, pimples, menstruation and burgeoning feelings for the opposite sex. Her memories of first intimate encounters, fending off unwanted advances and fear of pregnancy will strike a chord with readers. In these short vignettes recollecting her middle-school years, Ada De Jesús shares her poignant and often funny experiences as a newcomer and an adolescent. Young readers will relate to—and laugh at—her experiences; some may take heart that they too will overcome the difficulties common at this age.
Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father. Jolly piragueros, mischievous cats, and costumed musicians color this tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.
Sixteen-year-old Indy struggles to conceal that she is pregnant by rape and then, turned out by relatives, must find a way to survive on her own in Nassau.
In order to heal after his mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things–and people–from other universes.
Eleven-year-old Carolina moves with her family from Puerto Rico to upstate New York, where she attends Silver Meadows camp with her cousin, finds an abandoned cottage, and reclaims parts of the life she left in Puerto Rico.
After a bad school day, Sofi is transported from a New York City community garden to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and helps composer Juan Luis and artist Guerlande.
A biographical novel about Antonio Chuffat, a Chinese-African-Cuban messenger boy in 1870s Cuba who became a translator and documented the freedom struggle of indentured Chinese laborers in his country.
The moment she steps off the plane, she feels a wall of heat, and familiar sights soon follow the boys selling water ice by the pink cathedral, the tap tap buses in the busy streets, the fog and steep winding road to her aunt’s home in the mountains. The girl has always loved Auntie Luce’s paintings the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country’s independence. Through Haiti’s colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home. And when the moment finally comes to have her own portrait painted for the first time, she begins to see herself in a new way, tracing her own history and identity through her aunt’s brush.
Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland…and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage.
Ranging from Puerto Rico to Cuba and the United States, this engaging novel for teens follows historical figures that were instrumental in the fight for self-determination in Puerto Rico. Addressing issues that remain relevant today racism, women’s rights and Puerto Rico’s status. The Season of Rebels and Roses also sheds light on women’s involvement in their nation’s liberation and their own.