Cuba 15 (Readers Circle)

Violet Paz has just turned 15, a pivotal birthday in the eyes of her Cuban grandmother. Fifteen is the age when a girl enters womanhood, traditionally celebrating the occasion with a quinceañero. But while Violet is half Cuban, she’s also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany family’s passion for playing dominoes, smoking cigars, and dancing to Latin music, Violet knows little about Cuban culture, nada about quinces, and only tidbits about the history of Cuba. So when Violet begrudgingly accepts Abuela’s plans for a quinceañero–and as she begins to ask questions about her Cuban roots–cultures and feelings collide. The mere mention of Cuba and Fidel Castro elicits her grandparents’sadness and her father’s anger. Only Violet’s aunt Luz remains open-minded. With so many divergent views, it’s not easy to know what to believe. All Violet knows is that she’s got to form her own opinions, even if this jolts her family into unwanted confrontations. After all, a quince girl is supposed to embrace responsibility–and to Violet that includes understanding the Cuban heritage that binds her to a homeland she’s never seen. This is Nancy Osa’s first novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

Fiesta Dress: A Quinceanera Tale

It s the day of Lolo’s big sister’s quinceañera party, and suddenly everyone is too busy to play with Lolo. But when she lets her dog Gobi runfree, everyone notices. Vivid illustrations in acrylics and watercolor by Martha Aviles skillfully portray Lolo using her fast feet and wits to outsmart Gobi and save her big sister’s special day!

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.

Estrella’s Quinceañera

For as long as Estrella Alvarez can remember, her mother has been planning to throw her an elaborate quinceañera for her fifteenth birthday — complete with a mariachi band, cheesy decorations, and a hideous dress. Just thinking about her quince makes Estrella cringe. But her mother insists that it’s tradition. Estrella has other things on her mind, anyway — like dating Speedy. Does it matter that her new friends — and her parents — would never approve of aguy from el barrio? Estrella’s almost fifteen and wants to start making her own decisions. But is she ready to find out who she is — and who she really wants to be?