Ada, Alma Flor. Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba
August 25th 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copy from public library
This new edition includes Where the Flame Trees Bloom (1994) and Under the Royal Palms (1998) as well as the new stories in Days at La Quinta Simoni. All of the entries are rather anecdotal; much more a collection of short stories than a connected narrative. Some of the memories are more informative than others. In reading this, I really wanted a lot of details about what it was like to grow up in Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s, and there is some of that. I would have found the whole story of how Ms. Ada's family moved from the ancestral farmhouse to the city more interesting. This is definitely one of those "lyrical" books where the pace is very slow, which makes it a much harder sell to my students. The photographs are nice, if a bit faded, but the illustrations, especially in the earliest book, don't add much to the narrative. I liked this author's Dancing Home, and this was certainly intriguing, but I don't think my students would pick this up.