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Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba

by Alma Flor Ada
Illustrated by Antonio Martorell

Published by Atheneum, 2015
240 pages
ISBN: 978𢴒81442459

Age 10 and older

An engaging volume brings together two of Alma Flor Ada抯 previously published memoirs, Where the Flame Trees Bloom and Under the Royal Palms, with a third collection of essays, Days at La Quinta Simoni. All are about her childhood in Cuba in a large and loving extended family prior to the rise of communism. Ada抯 wonderful storytelling voice is warm and friendly, inviting readers right into her childhood. The slight repetition among the three volumes, in which a similar incident may be recounted in two or more ways, further gives one a sense of being part of Ada抯 family: In any family there are always stories that get told over and over in slightly different ways. Across the stories, not only do vivid scenes of Ada抯 childhood emerge, but so, too, does the strong sense of compassion she was taught to have for those around her.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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