Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Red Umbrella + December Overview: I need recommendations!

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Breaking the Spine.
This week I'm waiting on....
The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Release date: May 11, 2010
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.

Cuba is one of the top countries I want to visit, once the Castros are out of power. Cuba always sounds so beautiful and I really want to see it for myself, since I've read many books about it. My heart always goes out to the Cuban people who are not allowed to return home, to never again see their country. How awful. But doesn't this book sound amazing? May can't come fast enough!

December Reviews Theme

As voted by you (in a very close vote), my reviews for the month of December are going to focus on religions. That being said, I need some more recommendations. I'm going to try and read all of Randa Abdel-Fattah's books, since I loved Does My Head Look Big in This? (which is my first religion review, the main character is Muslim). I need recommendations for YA books with poc about the Jewish faith (or just a poc Jewish protagonist) and any other religions (except Christianity since I'm not going to spotlight it as much).

However, I've also decided to do a few reviews on the other themes as well, since I really need to finish some like the God Box and Ash before 2009 is over (a personal goal)! So I'm going to try and make religions the main focus, but there are already a ton of books I've finished that need to be reviewed (like One Crazy Summer, Jumped, Now and Zen, She's So Money). Be patient with me :)

PS Kirsten at Bookworming in the 21st Century is throwing a massive birthday bash for 25 days. Go check it out, all contests end Dec. 30th and today she's giving away a copy of Marcelo in the Real World! If you need a refresher as to why this book is beyond amazing, read my review here


  1. Okay, I know you said no Christianity but I thought I'd recommend Roseanne Parry's "Heart Of A Shepherd" anyway. It deals with Catholicism a bit and also Quakers. It's also an outstanding story about a boy whose father goes off to Iraq and how he and the family cope in the months that follow. (It was in my Nov column:

    I loved it and I think you would too!

  2. 'So Punk Rock' by Micol Ostow features a Jewish protagonist (I haven't read it, but Chasing Ray recommends it).

  3. Thanks for the WoW mention and May can't get here fast enough for me either!

    As for book recommendations for December, don't know if you've read Shine Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger (it's on my to be read pile), but I've heard many great things about it.

  4. I second Shine Coconut Moon, which I'm reviewing for Readergirlz Salon and my local newspaper as well. And I can't wait to read The Red Umbrella--congrats, Christina! The fall issue of MultiCultural Review (where I'm the editor) features interviews with Pedro Pan alumni, and the journal's Latino/Latin American Studies Subject Editor is married to a "Pedro Pan."

  5. @Colleen-Heart of a Shepherd sounds really good since there aren't too many books (to my knowledge) about the Iraq War. The summary reminds me of Quaking which was a fabulous book (I recommend it) which is about a girl sent to live with Quakers at the beginning of the Iraq War. It's not about a poc though :( I'm still going to read it!

    @Jodie-Oh thanks! I competely forgot about that one but I'll add it to my list. I just thought of I Wanna Be Your Shoebox too :)

    @Christina-So excited for your book to be released and thanks for stopping by! I read and LOVED Shine, Coconut Moon (already reviewed here).

    @Lyn-Yup, shine Coconut Moon is so wonderful. and the Red Umbrella sounds great too and I look forward to reading the MCR :D

  6. ... The fact that I can't really think of non-Christian YA religious novels makes me feel pathetic. The only title that's coming to mind right now is The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, but it isn't YA so... *sighs*

    !! Red Umbrella looks good. I checked out the excerpt a while back and really enjoyed the writing. =D

  7. *Ah Yuan-don't feel pathetic! If anything, it just means that the books need to be better advertised. I'll look for the Satanoc Verses anyway. I really liked Haroun and the Sea of Stories :)


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