Belinda’s Book Nook – The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez


The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Welcome again to my Book Nook. Now don’t be turned off that this is a young adult book. I believe that all books are opportunities to grow and can be found even in young adult books.  This book happens to fit in the historical fiction genre which is my favorite.

From 1960 to 1962, parents of over fourteen thousand Cuban children made the heart-wrenching decision to send their sons and daughters to the United States alone. The author pulled from her parents and mother-in-law’s personal experience who were among these children to create this story.

This book follows a fourteen year-old Cuban girl Lucia and her seven year old brother Frankie through their journey from Cuba and then to the United States.

This was a very fast read but don’t let that fool you, I had much to think about while reading it. I was not aware of this exodus of children from Cuba in the early 1960s.  The book begins in Cuba and cleverly the author uses each chapter title to alert you to what is being written in the newspapers about Cuba at the time.  So it isn’t simply about the family in the story it takes you to a broader view of the conflict.

I feel like it piques your interest about a very important part of history that seems to have been overlooked. As the author points out, this was the largest exodus of unaccompanied children ever  in the history of the Western Hemisphere. I feel drawn to learn more Cuban history to understand how Fidel Castro took power of Cuba in 1959 promising a better life for the people and then began stripping all the rights away from the very people he promised to help.

And I would also like to find out if there documented first-hand accounts of the exodus experience. Like where are they now?  Have they ever gone home? Did any of them experience the race relations strife that was taking place here in the United States.

Overall a great read and hope you will take a chance and read it too. Please share your thoughts with me on the book.

Happy Reading!


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