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Cuba 15 (2003)

Author: Osa, Nancy Publisher: Ember/Random House
Number of pages: 304 pages

Violet Paz has just turned 15, 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 quinceaƱero. But while Violet is half Cuban, shes also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany familys 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 Abuelas plans for a quinceaƱeroand as she begins to ask questions about her Cuban rootscultures and feelings collide. The mere mention of Cuba and Fidel Castro elicits her grandparentssadness and her fathers anger. Only Violets aunt Luz remains open-minded. With so many divergent views, its not easy to know what to believe. All Violet knows is that shes got to form her own opinions, even if this jolts her family into unwanted confrontations. After all, a quince girl is supposed to embrace responsibilityand to Violet that includes understanding the Cuban heritage that binds her to a homeland shes never seen.

ISBN 13: 978-0385732338
Reading Level (grade): 4.9