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The Red Umbrella


The Red Umbrella Cover

ISBN13: 9780375854897
ISBN10: 0375854894
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Red Umbrella is the 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. Her friends feel like strangers. And her family is being watched.


As the revolution's impact becomes more oppressive, 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 moving story of country, culture, family, and the true meaning of home.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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

From the Hardcover edition.

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Beverly B, November 13, 2014 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Although The Red Umbrella is historical fiction, it is primarily the story of a spirited, determined teen trying to make the best of a scary, lonely and difficult time. Fourteen year old Lucia is a lovable, but unreliable, narrator for much of The Red Umbrella. She is seeing the Cuban Revolution of the '60's through the eyes of an entitled young teen who is upset that the new government is messing with her fun-filled life. It is not until her father is arrested, and her best friend joins the military, that she begins to understand her parents' fear. Even after her parents send her to a refugee camp in Florida, to save her from being drafted, Lucia thinks she will be returning to Cuba in a few weeks. She holds on to the fantasy that Cuba will return to normal. When the refugee camp sends Lucia and her little brother to a foster home in Nebraska, Lucia knows it will be harder to stay in touch with her parents and worries that it may take longer than expected for she and her brother to return home. The second half of the story is Lucia's coming of age and becoming an American young woman. As she makes friends, excels in school and learns to appreciate American freedom and culture, she still misses her parents desperately, but does not feel the strong ties to Cuba anymore. Middle grade readers will love Lucia and share her dream of reuniting with her family.
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Product Details

Gonzalez, Christina Diaz
Yearling Books
Gonzalez, Christina
Ethnic - Hispanic & Latino
Children s-General
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 5
7.6 x 5.13 x 0.71 in 0.41 lb
Age Level:
from 10

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Activities » General
Children's » Awards » Oregon Reader's Choice Award
Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction
Children's » Historical Fiction » United States » 20th Century
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Oregon Battle of the Books
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Red Umbrella New Mass Market
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Product details 288 pages Yearling Books - English 9780375854897 Reviews:
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