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The Red Umbrella Reissue Edition
Contributor(s): Gonzalez, Christina Diaz
ISBN: 0375854894     ISBN-13: 9780375854897
Publisher: Yearling Books
    OUR PRICE: $7.19  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: December 2011
Qty:
Annotation: In 1961 after Castro has come to power in Cuba, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her seven-year-old brother are sent to the United States when her parents fear that the children will be taken away from them as others have been.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Family
Dewey: FIC
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 7.00" H x 5.00" W x 0.75" (0.40 lbs) 284 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): >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.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall)
Years after the Communist Revolution in 1961 Cuba, fourteen-year-old Lucma's parents send her and her younger brother Frankie to America to weather out Castro's increasingly rigid new government. Sprinkled with Spanish, Lucma's impassioned first-person narration ably reflects her struggles to adjust to a new culture while wondering if she will ever return to the home and parents she loves. Glos. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2010 May #1)

In this compelling, atmospheric first novel that begins in postrevolutionary Cuba, Gonzalez sketches the immigration experience of thousands of children sent to the United States through likable 14-year-old narrator Luca. Initially, politics feel removed from Luca's life ("I was growing tired of constantly hearing about the revolution, but I privately thanked Castro for postponing my algebra test"). However, Gonzales believably escalates harrowing political events and their personal cost to Luca's family, as she finds the family doctor hung from an oak tree, and her father is detained after someone betrays the family's hidden stash of money and jewelry. The situation forces Luca's parents to send Luca and her seven-year-old brother, Frankie, to America while they await visas. Debut author Gonzalez excels at highlighting the cultural difficulties of their transition, as Luca and Frankie eventually end up living with a foster family in rural—and quite foreign—Nebraska. Contemporary newspaper headlines such as the 1961 Nevada State Journal's "Castro Adopts Brainwashing" lead each chapter and offer wider commentary. The memorable heroine and supporting cast offer a moving portrait of resilience and reinvention. Ages 10–up. (May)

[Page 53]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2010 May)

Gr 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

[Page 114]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.