A Song Of Frutas

While visiting her abuelo in Cuba, a young girl helps him sell frutas, singing the name of each fruit as they walk, and after she returns to the United States, they exchange letters made of abrazos–hugs. Includes historical and cultural notes.

A Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea And Tomorrow

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself fell apart. Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell. A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

The Victoria In My Head

Shy fifteen-year-old Cuban American Victoria Cruz feels trapped by the monotony of running on the cross country team and keeping up with her studies to maintain her scholarship to her prestigious college prep school, but the chance to join a rock band in need of a lead singer gives her the opportunity to confront her anxieties, find love and disappointment, and create a new playlist for her life.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

When his family’s restaurant and Cuban American neighborhood in Miami are threatened by a greedy land developer, thirteen-year-old Arturo, joined by Carmen, a cute poetry enthusiast, fight back, discovering the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

Enchanted Air

Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 8, Issue 3

Letters From Heaven / Cartas del cielo

Celeste is heartbroken when her grandmother dies, but when letters and recipes begin to arrive with her grandmother’s advice and recipes, Celeste finds consolation in preparing the dishes for herself, her mother, and their friends. Includes six traditional Cuban recipes.

La Noche Buena

Nina is visiting her grandmother in Miami for Christmas. Usually she spends it in snowy New England with her mother and her family, but this year is different. She isn’t certain what to make of a hot and humid holiday, until she learns the traditions of her father’s side of the family from her Cuban grandmother. She helps prepare for the evening and takes part in all their traditions—the intricate cooking for the feast, the dancing, the music, and the gathering of relatives and neighbors. It all comes together for a Noche Buena that Nina will never forget.   Antonio Sacre and Angela Dominguez have created a wonderful story that everyone who celebrates Christmas will enjoy. The book includes a glossary of Spanish words.

Birthday In The Barrio/Cumpleanos En El Barrio

barrioIn this second bilingual book by author Mayra L. Dole, lively, determined Chavi sets off on yet another Miami adventure. This time it’s a fifteenth birthday party for her buddy Rosario’s sister that sends her swooshing through her Cuban American neighborhood, recruiting children and grownups to help in the planning and cooking. Once again Chavi proves that she can bring an entire community together for a heartfelt and ultimately very special event.Mayra L. Dole’s bouncy prose and Tonel’s bright, witty watercolors will delight readers who know and love Chavi, as well as those who are discovering this amazing eight-year-old heroine for the first time.

Dark Dude

He didn’t say good-bye. He didn’t leave a phone number. And he didn’t plan on coming back – ever.

In Wisconsin, Rico could blend in. His light hair and lighter skin wouldn’t make him the “dark dude” or the punching bag for the whole neighborhood. The Midwest is the land of milk and honey, but for Rico Fuentes, it’s really a last resort. Trading Harlem for Wisconsin, though, means giving up on a big part of his identity. And when Rico no longer has to prove that he’s Latino, he almost stops being one. Except he can never have an ordinary white kid’s life, because there are some things that can’t be left behind, that can’t be cut loose or forgotten. These are the things that will be with you forever…. These are the things that will follow you a thousand miles away.

For anyone who loved The Outsiders — and for anyone who’s ever felt like one — Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos brings to life a haunting choice and an unforgettable journey about identity, misidentity, and all that we take with us when we run away.