A few months ago we Daughters of St. Paul published a novel for young people titled Mission Libertad. True to history, Mission Libertad traces the exploits of a teenage Luis Ramirez who ecapes Communist Cuba on a raft with his mother and father. Set in 1979-1980, the story came alive for me towards the end when it describes the mass exodus of Cubans in 1980. I was assigned to our Miami convent and book center at the time. Whole neighborhoods in Miami seemed deserted during the Mariel Boat event.
Mission Libertad inserts the reader into the life of a teen who is encouraged by his grandmother, abuela, to trust in the Lord and to carry a secret message to a priest in Miami. The writer describes Luis' delight and almost disbelief as he takes in all that the USA and freedom offers him. The book paints an inviting picture of a closenit and supportive extended Latino family.
If you have young readers in your family, or if you want a good read for yourself, I recommend Mission Libertad by Lizette M. Lantigua and published by Pauline Books & Media in Boston. This 215 page paperback sells for $9.95. You can find the title on this website: www.pauline.org.