The Red Umbrella is a moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba to America as part of Operation Pedro Pan—an organized exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel Castro's revolution.
In 1961, two years after the Communist revolution, Lucía Álvarez still leads a carefree life, dreaming of parties and her first crush. But when the soldiers come to her sleepy Cuban town, everything begins to change. Freedoms are stripped away. Neighbors disappear. And soon, Lucía's parents make the heart-wrenching decision to send her and her little brother to the United States—on their own.
Suddenly plunked down in Nebraska with well-meaning strangers, Lucía struggles to adapt to a new country, a new language, a new way of life. But what of her old life? Will she ever see her home or her parents again? And if she does, will she still be the same girl?
The Red Umbrella is a touching story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.
“Captures the fervor, uncertainty and fear of the times. . . . Compelling.” –The Washington Post
“Gonzalez deals effectively with separation, culture shock, homesickness, uncertainty and identity as she captures what is also a grand adventure.” –San Francisco Chronicle
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 Luc a. Initially, politics feel removed from Luc a 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 Luc a 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 Luc a s parents to send Luc a 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 Luc a 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. \n
Such a touching book. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did because it was chosen by my school as a summer reading book. I would recommend it to any reader! :)
Such a good book
BEST BOOK EVER!i love it
Only got one chapter the rest was blank. What should I do?