Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Flight to Freedom

Flight to Freedom

Ana Veciana- Suarez
Fiction
For ages 12 and up
Scholastic, 2002   ISBN: 978-0439381994

Imagine having to stand in a line for hours just to get some soap, and then not getting any because the store has run out. Imagine being separate from your family and friends for weeks on end by the government so that you can work on a farm picking tobacco leaves all day long. Imagine what it would feel like if your brother had to join the army when he was just sixteen and you didn’t know where he was or how he was doing. These were things that Yara and her family had to deal with in their daily lives on the island of Cuba in the 1960’s. Life was hard and, in fact, it finally got so hard that Yara’s parents decided that they were going to take advantage of what was being called the Freedom Flights. They were going to take a few of their processions and move to Miami for a while. They all believed it would be just for a short while until the political situation in Cuba got better.

Like so many others before and after her, Yara is caught between two worlds. “Do you stop loving your homeland if you live somewhere else?” she asks herself. Her sisters and mother work hard to adapt to this new country while her father insists that they are going to return to Cuba soon. He actively participates in organizations that want to overthrow the communist government in Cuba. For Yara, politics is confusing and it causes all sorts of problems for the common people.

The author of this touching book succeeds in reminding us that America is still a refuge for people fleeing from oppression and conflict. She shows us, with great understanding and sensitivity, how hard it is to learn how to live in a new place with new people and new ways.

At the back of the book, the reader will find a very useful and interesting history of Cuba. This is one of the titles in the “First Person Fiction” series.

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