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Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar

Letters from Cuba

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Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar
Hardcover $17.99
Aug 25, 2020 | ISBN 9780525516477

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  • Aug 25, 2020 | ISBN 9780525516477 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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  • Aug 25, 2020 | ISBN 9780525516484 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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“A delightful, heartfelt book about holding on to who you are and where you’re from when far from home, and the joys and benefits of welcoming other cultures and communities into your own. Will reaffirm your faith in humanity.”—Alan Gratz, author of Refugee

* “After three years abroad, Papa’s saved only enough money to send for one of his children. Thus Esther boards the steamship alone even though she’s not quite 12. Cuba is a constant surprise. . . . In glowing letters to her sister back in Poland, Esther details how she’s learning Spanish through the poems of José Martí. She introduces her sister to her beloved new friends. . . . Esther’s first year in Cuba is marked by the calendar of Jewish holidays, as she wonders if she can be both Cuban and a Jew. As the coming war looms in Europe, she and her friends find solidarity. . . . An author’s note describes how the story was loosely inspired by the author’s own family history. Warmhearted cross-cultural friendship for a refugee on distant shores: both necessary and kind.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Esther’s poignant letters to her sister reveal the heartbreaking stories of the people—the displaced, the downtrodden, the dreamers—she meets along her journey, even as she exposes injustices among class and religion and within ethnic groups, all in parallel to her family’s experience in 1938 Poland. Belpré-winning Behar’s epistolary novel, based on a true story, addresses identity, family dynamics, culture, tradition, and acceptance as loving Esther opens her heart to her friends and neighbors in Agramonte while learning about issues both in her new home and abroad. Complemented by a vibrant supporting cast and an extensive author’s note about the Holocaust and Cuban refugees, Esther’s tale is one of adaptation and perseverence . . . while also fighting for her rights and for peace in her new home.”–Booklist 

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