Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa
(Pura Belpre Honor Book Author (Awards))

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Synopsis

In this story about family and identity, Violet Paz learns about her Cuban heritage and navigates her family’s diverse opinions to form her own in preparation for a quinceañero to celebrate her fifteenth birthday.

Violet Paz has just turned fifteen, a pivotal birthday in the eyes of her Cuban grandmother. Fifteen is the age when a girl enters womanhood, traditionally celebrating the occasion with a quinceañero. But while Violet is half Cuban, she’s also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany family’s passion for playing dominoes, smoking cigars, and dancing to Latin music, Violet knows little about Cuban culture, nada about quinces, and only tidbits about the history of Cuba. So when Violet begrudgingly accepts Abuela’s plans for a quinceañero–and as she begins to ask questions about her Cuban roots–cultures and feelings collide. The mere mention of Cuba and Fidel Castro elicits her grandparents’sadness and her father’s anger. Only Violet’s aunt Luz remains open-minded. With so many divergent views, it’s not easy to know what to believe. All Violet knows is that she’s got to form her own opinions, even if this jolts her family into unwanted confrontations. After all, a quince girl is supposed to embrace responsibility–and to Violet that includes understanding the Cuban heritage that binds her to a homeland she’s never seen.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Nancy Osa

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This is Nancy Osa's first novel.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 304 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cuba 15

Kirkus Reviews

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Over time, while working on a stand-up comedy routine about her “loco” family, Violet becomes excited to be a quince, and grandmotherly genius solves the pink-dress problem.

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Publishers Weekly

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"The charismatic narrator of this funny first novel doesn't know much about her Cuban heritage when her grandmother offers to throw her a quinceañero," said PW .

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Publishers Weekly

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Violet Paz, the charismatic narrator of this funny first novel, doesn't know much about her Cuban heritage when her grandmother offers to throw her a quinceañero, a traditional coming-of-age party for a 15-year-old girl.

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Teen Reads

CUBA 15 is a well-written novel about the journey of growing up.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Cuba 15 (Pura Belpre Honor Bo...

Reader Rating for Cuba 15
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 34 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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