Summary: Farewell Cuba Mi Isla
1960, Cuba. Cousins Victoria and Jackie love living in their island country with their large family. When when Fidel Castro’s communist government takes hold, things change swiftly, leading Victoria’s father to relocate his family to Miami, leaving Jackie and her family behind.
As Victoria adapts to life in the US, Jackie and her family struggle in Cuba—until the family decides to send Jackie over to the States with Operation Peter Pan. But will Jackie ever see her family again? Both girls band together to bring the rest of their family to America.
As a non-fan of historical fiction, I rate any book in the genre that wins my attention highly.
The storytelling in this book is immersive, containing just the right amount of detail about Cuba’s political history and the impact on its people—at least the wealthy class. I didn’t know much about Cuba, Operation Peter Pan, and what happened during Castro’s regime, so this book felt very eye-opening for me. There’s plenty to discuss about the response to communism and how it might have benefited some people (at least temporarily) and negatively affected others.
I also liked seeing the American middle school experience in the 1960s. Victoria attends middle school when she and her family arrive in Miami, and it’s fascinating to see the classes taken in that period, such as Home Economics. It’s also interesting to see the American response to immigrants like Victoria and the Russian girl Katya whom she befriends.
Victoria’s family is also a major part of the story. Victoria and Jackie feel more like sisters and cousins, and both girls are so different from each other. Her dad, uncle, and grandparents all feel real, and the drama, uncertainty, and tensions between them feel appropriate to the situation at hand.
- Death: Death of a grandparent (referenced, not on the page)
- Alcohol/substance abuse: Mention of adults drinking
- Sexual content: None
- Ethnic: Most characters are Latin-American, one student in Victoria’s school is Black, another is Russian
- Sexual orientation: None mentioned
Recommended for ages: 9+
Good for kids who like:
|Publisher details||Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books|
|Publication date:||3 September, 2023|
|Cover artists | Designer:||Maribel Lechuga|
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