After his grandparents emigrate, 12-year-old Enrique heads for the ocean, a source of comfort and solace. Why did they flee Cuba, leaving Enrique and his mother behind? Should they go, too? If not, will they, like so many others, be seen as disloyal? The sea has no answers for the boy. As the years pass, Enrique is invited to become a Pioneer, a special honor that bodes well for his future, but it means he’s forbidden from reading the letters his grandparents send home. Enrique wants to belong, to show that he’s deserving of the honor, and once again, he seeks the ocean’s solace. Once again, the ocean has no easy answers. Still, life goes on. There are games with his friends, swimming expeditions, girls to hang out with. And always, there’s the ocean, a place he can go in good times and bad as he tries to make sense of what the future holds for him, his family, and many other Cubans.
Oloyou the Cat, the very first creature that the God-child creates, is also the very first friend. God-child and Oloyou play together for hours on end, until one day the cat falls into the void and lands in the dark, featureless, sea kingdom of ferocious Okún Aró. Oloyou is terribly lonely until he meets Aró’s mermaid daughter and falls madly in love. Infuriated, the father flings the pair into the heavens, where they become an everlasting part of the night sky. This imaginative tale, sparked by the author’s mesmerizing text, is the perfect introduction to the vibrant Santería/Yoruba culture.
Calepino was blessed with good fortune. After his mother died giving birth to him on a slave ship, he was taken in by a wealthy woman who gave him every advantage. Then on his thirteenth birthday, Father Pedro, a devout priest, asks Calepino to assist him with the slaves coming into Cartagena. Soon he’s fighting seasickness, living in squalor, and cursing every minute. That all begins to change when he meets Mara and Tomi, a mother and son who remind him of his own past.
When Tomi and Mara are sold to a cruel man, Calepino is more determined than ever to find a way to save them. Will this be his chance to change someone else’s fortune, or will he put them all in more peril?
Richly detailed and researched, Julia Durango’s gripping first novel brings to life what it means to be truly free.
If you travel to Cuba, the people will greet you with a smile. Right away they’ll want you to come to their home and eat a meal. In the meal, you’ll find a mixture of foods and flavors from Spain and Africa-and from many Caribbean cultures as well. In Cuban folktales, you will taste the same delicious mixture of flavors.Folklorist and storyteller Joe Hayes first visited Cuba in 2001. He fell in love with the island and its people and began to look for opportunities to meet and listen to Cuban storytellers and to share the stories he knew from the American Southwest. He has returned every year, establishing a rich cultural exchange between US and Cuban storytellers. Out of that collaboration came this savory collection of Cuban folktales, which Joe frames with an introduction and an all-important Note to Storytellers.Joe Hayes is one of America’s premier storytellers. His bilingual Spanish-English tellings have earned him a distinctive place among America’s storytellers. Joe has published over twenty books. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and travels extensively throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.Mauricio Trenard Sayago was born in Santiago de Cuba in 1963. He was raised in a home that was closely linked with art and was surrounded by the artistic debates sustained by the various artists and art history professors in his family. This environment strongly influenced him. Mauricio came to the United States in 2000, and now lives in Brooklyn.
In Flight to Freedom, Anna Veciana-Suarez brings us Yara, an eighth-grader who lives in a middle-class neighborhood of 1967 Havana, Cuba. Her parents, who do not share the political beliefs of the Communist party, finally are forces to flee Cuba with their children to Miami, Florida. There, Yara records in her diary the difficulties she encounters in a strange land with foreign customs. She must learn English and go to school with new children. Her parents also adjust to the new country differently, and Yara’s father grows frustrated with her mother when she becomes more independent.
The story of revolution leader Toussaint L’Ouverture of St. Domingue (now Haiti).The island now known as Haiti was once a French colony called St. Domingue, where white plantation owners forced hundreds of thousands of African slaves to farm sugar cane. Toussaint L’Ouverture was one of those slaves . . . but not for long. The day would come when L’Ouverture would lead his island’s slaves into a revolution for freedom, and his efforts would influence the course of world history.
Daniel has escaped Nazi Germany with nothing but a desperate dream that he might one day find his parents again. But that golden land called New York has turned away his ship full of refugees, and Daniel finds himself in Cuba. As the tropical island begins to work its magic on him, the young refugee befriends a local girl with some painful secrets of her own. Yet even in Cuba, the Nazi darkness is never far away . . .
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 3, Issue 2
In 1722, after arriving with her brother at the family’s Jamaican plantation where she is to be married off, sixteen-year-old Nancy Kington escapes with her slave friend, Minerva Sharpe, and together they become pirates traveling the world in search of treasure.
After being saved from a disastrous landslide by an extraordinary goat that blocks their usual way to school, twins Pollyread and Jackson, living with their parents high in the mountains of Jamaica, find the strange goat reappearing at crucial intervals as their day-to-day life is changed by series of mysterious events involving the return of a local troublemaker and secrets from their family’s past.
Eduardo F. Calcines was a child of Fidel Castro’s Cuba; he was just three years old when Castro came to power in January 1959. After that, everything changed for his family and his country. When he was ten, his family applied for an exit visa to emigrate to America and he was ridiculed by his schoolmates and even his teachers for being a traitor to his country. But even worse, his father was sent to an agricultural reform camp to do hard labor as punishment for daring to want to leave Cuba. During the years to come, as he grew up in Glorytown, a neighborhood in the city of Cienfuegos, Eduardo hoped with all his might that their exit visa would be granted before he turned fifteen, the age at which he would be drafted into the army. In this absorbing memoir, by turns humorous and heartbreaking, Eduardo Calcines recounts his boyhood and chronicles the conditions that led him to wish above all else to leave behind his beloved extended family and his home for a chance at a better future.