Archive for April, 2015

Island Treasures

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015


Includes Where the Flame Trees Bloom, Under the Royal Palms (winner of the Pura Belpré Medal), and Days at la Quinta Simoni, a new collection of stories. In this treasure chest of remarkable stories, celebrated author Alma Flor Ada offers inspiring reflections on a unique childhood and the island where she grew up. These true tales are filled with family love and traditions, secrets and deep friendships. Told through the eyes of a child, they bring a whole world to life for the reader the blind great-grandmother who never went to school, but whose wisdom and generosity overflowed to those around her; the hired hand Samoné, whose love for music overcame all difficulties; the beloved dance teacher, who helped sustain young Alma Flor through a miserable year in school; her dear and daring Uncle Medardo, who bravely flew airplanes; and more, including five stories that are brand new to this collection. Heartwarming, poignant, and often humorous, this rich anthology encourages readers to discover the stories in their own lives -and to celebrate the joys and struggles we all share, no matter where or when we grew up.


School Library Connections

This is an anthology of previously published works, Where the Flame Trees Bloom (Atheneum, 1994) and Under the Royal Palms (Atheneum 1998), plus new content. These short two to four page autobiographical vignettes tell family stories of growing up in Cuba. Warm and touching, they have the feel of a grandparent sharing their childhood experience, usually with an embedded lesson but without being preachy. Evoking the people and experiences of growing up in Cuba, and told from a child’s point of view, these stories would make great read-alouds, even with younger students. Terri Lent, NBCT School Librarian, Patrick Henry High School, Ashland, Virginia [Editor’s Note: Available in e-book format and paperback.]