Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba (Bind-Up)

Alma Flor Ada (Author) Antonio Martorell (Illustrator)
& 1 more

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
August 25, 2015
5.8 X 0.9 X 8.5 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Alma Flor Ada, an authority on multicultural and bilingual education, is the recipient of the 2012 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and in 2014 she was honored by the Mexican government with the prestigious OHTLI Award. She is the author of numerous award-winning books for young readers, including Dancing Home with Gabriel Zubizarreta, My Name Is María Isabel, Under the Royal Palms (Pura Belpré Medal), Where the Flame Trees Bloom, and The Gold Coin (Christopher Award Medal). She lives in California, and you can visit her at


"Ada, an award-winning writer and multicultural and bilingual education expert, recounts childhood memories of growing up in Cuba in the 1940s. Filled with heartwarming vignettes of her childhood in Camagüey, Cuba, Ada's memories are also suffused with the importance of family and friends.... Readers new to Ada's memoirs will be moved and inspired."--Kirkus Reviews, May 2015
"In this memoir collection, Ada vividly recounts childhood stories, painting pictures with words that allow readers to almost taste Cuban foods, smell her grandmother's talcum, and feel the red clay used to make pottery.... Ada adopts the tone of an older adult fondly sharing childhood memories with a beloved child--the reader. She weaves life lessons and Cuban customs and values throughout her recollections of eccentric relatives and community members and incorporates descriptions of childhood joys, tragedies, and humorous anecdotes. Although most Spanish terms are translated or defined within the text, a glossary aids those new to the language. VERDICT: A lovely addition to memoir collections."--School Library Journal, June 2015
"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."--School Library Connection, February 2016, Recommended