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Flight to Freedom: First Person Fiction

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
First Person Fiction is dedicated to the immigrant experience in modern America. "Flight to Freedom" is closely based on Suarez's own story of leaving Cuba during the Freedom Flights of the 1960s.

Yara Garcia and her family live a middle-class life in Havana, Cuba. But in 1967, as Communist ruler Fidel Castro tightens his hold on Cuba, the Garcias, who do not share the poli
Paperback, 215 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2002)
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Nov 27, 2013 Wedu rated it liked it
“Flight to Freedom,” by Ana Veciana-Suarez, is a story about the struggle for Yara Garcia. A young girl fleeing with her family to Miami,Florida in 1967 from communist leader Fidel Castro. Yara moves to the states and struggles with not speaking the language. Standing out from other children because she's not as well off and becaue she's diffrent. Most of all she struggles with how her father seems to be getting in trouble with the authorities over a country that has already been lost. In her he ...more
Sandra Arellano
Dec 15, 2016 Sandra Arellano rated it really liked it
My favorite part of the book was when Yara Garcia , and her family got a letter from her brother that stayed in Cuba .Her mom and family were very happy and anxious when they received the letter , and then her mom started crying hysterically . If i could be one character’s from the book, I would be Ileana, Yara’s older sister, because she wasn’t as sad as Yara when moving to the U.S she actually liked it here . She made friends easily; she also wanted to go out ,and get to know the new country t ...more
Jacqueline Bahena CNCA
Oct 24, 2008 Jacqueline Bahena CNCA rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jacqueline Bahena CNCA by: Nobody recommended it to me, but i read the short summary on the
Flight to Freedom is about a girl named Yara and her older sister, younger sister, mother and father come to join grandparents and other family in Miami, leaving behind her brother who is in the Cuban army and many other relatives. Yara's father believes the family will return to Cuba soon. The mother and older sister think that living in America is what is best for them. The mother gets a job and learns to drive a car and Yara's older sister starts seeing boys on the sly and lying to her parent ...more
Oct 14, 2009 Abraham rated it liked it
At first I was kind of bored by this book, which came off as more of a history lesson about Cuban immigration to Miami than an actual novel. But once I got over my disappointment in the relative stasis of the characters, I enjoyed learning something about this culture which I know almost nothing about. I knew that Miami had lots of Cubans, but I knew very little about their experience leaving Cuba or their experience in the US. The book comes across as very pro-American (there is shockingly litt ...more
Anne Osterlund
Nov 30, 2011 Anne Osterlund rated it liked it
Yara loves her family.

When her parents apply to leave Cuba, the decision means sacrifice. For everyone.

For Yara, it means 6 weeks at a Cuban government-run agricultural “school” where the girls wake up to ice-cold water and hours in the fields and an occasional training on reading speeches by Fidel Castro. All this to be able to travel to Miami. Where Yara doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t fit in and can’t even outperform her much younger sister in school. Where her older sister is sneaking
Alexandria Cintron
Flight to Freedom tells of coming to America from Cuba in 1967, on the flights from Havana to Miami. Yara Garcia and her older sister, younger sister, mother and father come to join grandparents and other family in Miami, leaving behind her brother who is in the Cuban army and many other relatives. Yara's father believes the family will return to Cuba soon. The mother and older sister are more determined to adjust to new life in America. For instance, the mother gets a job and learns to drive a ...more
Flight to Freedom is a richly detailed novel about Yara's immigration from Cuba to Miami. I knew very little about Cuba and Cuban history before I read this, but Ana Veciana-Suarez did a great job of detailing everything - Yara's sorrows over leaving Cuba and learning to live in Miami were very compelling and kept the plot moving.

That being said, Yara's character felt a bit flat at times, as if the novel's purpose was teaching history instead of telling a story. I didn't see much change in her;
Jan 19, 2013 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007-2010
Yara Garcia lives in Cuba with her family in the late 1960s. The Communist Revolution of Fidel Castro has transformed the beautiful island country into a divided nation. Yara and her family flee Cuba on one of the Freedom Flights, but they are forced to leave anything of value and Yara’s older brother, Pepito, must remain in Cuba with the army. Her family, one member short, struggles to make life as exiles in Miami work while still clinging to the hope that their situation is only temporary.
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Mar 01, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Despite the fact that I don't have any Cuban students, I feel this book is a must add for my classroom library. The author touches on so many great themes, most especially the ways in which emigration can affect the relationship between parents and children. This is a book that a lot of our ESL students could relate to and would spark some great classroom discussions. The discussion guide at the end of the book, however, left a lot to be desired in my opinion and is not something that I would us ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Jose rated it liked it
This book reminded me of Lost city because the actor the plays in movie is called Andy Gracia he is a salsa club owner an then Fidel told his people to get the club and turn ti to his way. He starts to get annoyed he tells his family his going to move to Miami for a better life but did have a good life no. It made think wow this reminds me of the lost city of a Cuban family in Castro time period.
May 03, 2010 Celia rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I really liked this book. The story of Cuban-born Yara, starts out in Havana, 1967, where the regime of Castro is making life miserable for all those who oppose the Communists. Her family has decided to flee Cuba and head to Miami. This is a story based on the author's life, and it reads very true. An interesting glimpse into life during the 1960's, life for a family caught in-between two cultures--told from the heart of an 8th grade girl.
Interesting book about Cuba during the Revolution lead by Castro and the end result of the country.
About a young lady growing up in Communist Cuba and then in America.
What a contrast!
"Next year we will be in Cuba!"
Wow, How can one try to live when you are wanting to be somewhere else and the area that you live in, brings back so many memories and keep them fresh?
Jan 10, 2011 Kathryn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
it takes too long and hurts my brain too much to read in spanish. i was impressed with how much i remembered. frustrated with how it wasn't enough to read at a 10th grade reading level. maybe another time.
Feb 14, 2014 Alejandro rated it liked it
Not the most amazing writing, but it's not written for readers my age . . . however, it really helped me to see what it must have been like for my family acclimating to the US in the 1960s. I made cafe in my cafetera this morning and I got all emotional thanks to this book.
Oct 23, 2008 Kisa rated it really liked it
This is about the courage of a young girl having to leave her country, her language, her family, and nearly all of her comforts behind. It is about a girl who had the courage to adapt which so many of us couldn't posibly do with the faith that she had.
Rachel Vote
May 15, 2014 Rachel Vote rated it liked it
This book gave a quick glimpse into what life is like for recent immigrants who are middle school/high school age. It was a quick, interesting read.
Jul 11, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Destiny Esper
Apr 23, 2012 Destiny Esper rated it really liked it
Loved this book. It's definitely for a younger reader, but it's a good book based on historic facts.
Audrey Carr
Audrey Carr rated it liked it
Apr 15, 2011
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Susi rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2013
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Oct 26, 2014
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May 05, 2013
Helen rated it it was ok
May 06, 2012
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Feb 02, 2012
Candace Neufville
Candace Neufville rated it liked it
Jul 10, 2015
Amanda rated it it was ok
Apr 08, 2014
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Ana Veciana-Suarez is a syndicated columnist for The Miami Herald and author of several books, including the young adult novel, Flight to Freedom. She has also written a collection of essays, Birthday Parties in Heaven: Thoughts on Life, Love, Grief, and Other Matters of the Heart. Her first novel, The Chin Kiss King, was translated into Spanish, Dutch, and German, and nominated for the IMPAC Awar ...more
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