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Cuba 15

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,061 ratings  ·  152 reviews
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 quinceañero. But while Violet is half Cuban, she’s also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany family’s passion for playing dominoes, smoking cigars, a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Ember (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jayson Troy It is metaphor about the American-Cuban cultural conflict she is sandwiched in. Don't take the statement directly.

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3.45  · 
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 ·  1,061 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Casey Strauss
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latina-o
Violet Paz, the 15 year old narrator of Cuba 15, is finding herself in the middle of preparing for her quinceranero, a traditional party thrown for fifteen year old girls in Latin American countries. The problem? Violet has no interest in celebrating. Wearing a pink dress and a tiara in front of all of her friends and family is the last activity she would ever want to participate in. She is more interested in her speech team, her friends, and American culture. Violet’s father is from Cuba, while ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a cute book about a thouroughly Americanized half Cuban/half Polish girl whose family wants her to embrace some of her Cuban roots. I thought it showed pretty accurately how many mixed race kids are often taught to ignore their white side as not having a culture. It also showed the difficulty of refugees assimilating to America and was a good portrait of friendship, although the praise of Che Geuverra, who murdered millions of people was nauseating. No one teaches that side of the story ...more
Brenda Ruiz
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa is a novel about a girl named Violet Paz who has just turned fifteen. Her Cuban family is planning a fifteen party for her. Violet isn’t so much for the party because she doesn’t know much about her Cuban culture. She is full American and doesn’t speak a lot of Spanish but she can understand most of it. Violet isn’t as excited about her party like her family is. She’s not the type of girl to wear dresses or heels. Violets grandma is all about her quince that she soon accepts ...more
Daniel Garcia
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Allow me to start off by saying that this is nowhere near the genre of books that I usually enjoy to read, so it's something out of my comfort zone. However, I surprisingly enjoyed the book very much and continued to read it until the end. I highly encourage everyone to read this book of and read something from a different genre.

"Cuba 15," written by Nancy Osa, is a book that begins with Violet's grandmother wanting to plan a quinceañero for Violet because she feels that it is a necessity. In h
Aly Gutierrez
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
• Book summary
-This is a wonderful multicultural coming of age story. Violet is the protagonist of this story and she did not know much about her Cuban culture. Her grandmother convinced her to have a quinceanera, even though she fought through the whole process. Did not want the big sparkly dress and definitely did not want to get escorted by a boy. Though, throughout the planning of her party, she learned a great deal about her culture. By the time her party came around, she was excited. She n
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
A rollicking look at the Cuban quinceanero, a special ceremony for girls who turn 15. Violet Paz is half Cuban, half Polish, and her father’s mother has decided Violet needs to have her quinceanero, though Violet barely speaks Spanish, knows little of her Cuban heritage (her father is quite close-mouthed about it) and Violet dislikes almost all aspects of the traditional party (especially having to wear a dress). Violet learns to love her family and her heritage, though it takes joining the spee ...more
Lourdes Ryczek
I was interested in this story because Violet is half Cuban and half Polish. just like my children. Her Cuban grandmother wants to celebrate her Quince/15th birthday with a traditional Cuban party. What the story doesn't explore is that long ago young ladies were presented in society at these sorts of parties. It was a right of passage, a way to show that your daughter was grown up, a woman. In many cases, ready for marriage! As a modern Cuban myself, I refused to have this sort of party because ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars is about right. Terrific story - lots of information about bicultural families, a bit slow in parts. Ages 12-14 is most appropriate for this book but it's a good, solid read for those who enjoy contemporary family and teen stories. The Cuban father and the American mother are firm and loving and wacky, a welcome change from so many of the teen angst books with dysfunctional or non-existent parents. This book is also completely free of violence, swearing, and any inappropri ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kids younger than 15
Cuba 15 reminded me of a 15-year-old version of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," with a quinceanera instead of a wedding. It was entertaining, with a relatable premise, but to be perfectly honest the jokes weren't all that funny, and the writing seemed a little perfunctory at times. I was happy to find that it didn't include much swearing, which gets tiresome after a while. Overall, it wasn't a waste of time to read, but I think I could've found something better.
Raquel Castaneda
Sep 02, 2011 is currently reading it
I like this books so far because it has to do with a girl that barely became 15 and her Cuban grandmother wants her to have a quinceañera. The thing is that she doesn't want one because she doesn't like dresses & it doesn't fit her personality. While planning she's starting to get to the idea of actually wanting one. I can't wait to finish it!:)
I really enjoyed this fun coming-of-age novel. Violet Paz is a character that brought smiles to my face over and over again as she prepared for her quince. She is half Cuban and half Polish and is working out what that means. There is a nice dose of humor throughout the book.
Brittany Rubio
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a half-Cuban, half-Polish girl myself, I knew I had to check out this book (even if I'm a good decade older than the protagonist). It's a cute coming-of-age story that I feel like was pretty accurate to my own early teen years in the late 90's/early 2000's before my friends and I were consumed with the internet and were still fairly innocent as we crossed from middle school into high school. I never had a quince myself, but what really hit home with me was the relationship that the older gene ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a well-written and humorous story with an interesting background context. It's not a 5 for me because I found a lot of it to be quite predictable. Also, I tend to be critical of books with female characters who are very against dresses, the color pink, and other "traditional" feminine things. To me that is the easiest way to start writing a "strong" female character, but I find it cliché. The dislike of dresses plays a big role in this book, so that prevented me from totally l ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: latinx, ya-fiction
It was cute! Honestly there was a lot of queerbaiting lmao but it's whatever...I appreciated the mixed-race Latina representation (especially with two cultures that aren't often paired together--as a Polish-Brazilian-American I loved this) and the main character opens up a conversation I would've loved to think about in early high school.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novel, nhhp
I've come to a decision to not force myself to read books that I don't enjoy. I got to 25% and still can't get this book to be interesting. I don't feel interested in characters who occupy page after page of stereotype.

Here's a Haiku for this book:

blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teens
Great coming of age story from a different culture's perspective!
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-2018
Enjoyable, sweet and will be a great addition to my classroom library this fall. Found it similar to My Basmati Batmitzva
Lucy Gensler
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-2017
This book is a great story, with lots of laughter and coming of age. I quickly fell in love with the characters, and was sad to end the book! Overall a wonderful novel, and I hope to read more by the author!!
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cuba 15 is a story of a girl named Violet Paz. She is half Polish on her mother’s side and also half Cuban on her father’s side, which is where the idea of having a quinceñero rises from. As mentioned in the book, a quinceñero (or quince) is a tradition in most Latin American countries where family and friends will organize “a fifteenth-year coming-of-age ceremony” where they guide a young woman into adulthood. Violet isn’t the type of girl to wear dresses and celebrating her quince años was som ...more
Jan 17, 2019 added it
I loved how her grandmother felt the need to do violet a
quinceanera. And it was a very interesting book accept the part when violet just agreed to do the quinceanera just for her grandma other than her self.
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa is a story about Violet Paz who is half Cuban half Polish. Her grandmother insists that Violet will have a Quinceanero which is a cuban celebration for a girls 15th birthday. The age when a girl enters womanhood. In Violet's circle of friends no one has had this type of celebration. Despite being of mixed backgrounds, Violet feels completely American, so she does not want to have a Quinceanero. She even thinks about how much she will dislike standing up infront of everyone ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ir-8th-grade
Cuba 15, by Nancy Osa, is about a girl named Violet Paz who is half Cuban and half Polish. She struggles to get more in touch with her Cuban side, after being exposed to the American culture. When her grandmother, who is Cuban, wants her to have a Quinceanera. A Quinceanera is a party, Sort of like a sweet sixteen, that Cuban girls have when they reach the age of 15, which is the age that a girl reaches womanhood, and becomes self reliant. While they start their preparation for the party, Violet ...more
Melanie Sarmiento
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it liked it
When I asked my wife how she liked Cuba 15, she told me it was cute, but that it was maybe too girly for me. I told her that if I could read Little Women, then nothing was too girly for me. Actually, I figured that since I liked The House on Mango Street and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, then I would probably like this book too. I was right. I finished it in two sittings.

Violet Paz is half Cuban American and Polish American, but she thinks of herself as simply American. But then her gr
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Mark Frye, author and reviewer for

Violet Paz gives little thought to her ethnicity. She's half-Cuban and half-Polish, but all American. She takes her father's roots for granted, even if her crazy relatives are always visiting for mega-Domino tournaments and zany cookouts. But when her grandmother and parents insist that she participate in her "quince," she is forced into a reluctant and embarrassed embrace with an "old world" tradition.

This debut novel masterfully a
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: рпи, rereads
On Cuba 15

Cuba 15 was gifted to me by my mother when I was fifteen, with the hopes that I would get more serious and start reading more. Now, eighteen, almost nineteen, my mom complains that I read too much. Mother, what have you done?

In reality, I did not start seriously reading until February of 2014, but this is one of the few books I read before that changing month. I distinctly remember liking Cuba 15, though I never wanted my own quince. As I reread it last week, I understood where this ad
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In this book, it talks bout how every girl wants there
15 anos.
Having your 15 it aint that easy
because you need the money and lots of help too.
And more into it the 15 girl always wants everything to be just right.
It aint easy for the family.

In cuba 15,
it talks bout this girl
She wants a party of a life time.
she wants every thing to be just fine.
but her mom and dad, want her to do it
in her own way.
Meaning that her mom and dad want to do it in cuban way.
they do it in a different way then
Dana Olbrantz
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book! It does a great job of discussing the intersectionality of a young girls identity: her parents cultures and her acceptance of turning from a girl to a woman. The use of Spanish was genius, well-integrated, and sets an inclusive tone for other YA lit. ...more
Oct 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grade-8-ir-book
Cuba 15 is a book about a girl called Violet Paz- she is half Cuban, half Polish and feels 100% American, but doesn't really know anything about her culture. Now- when she is going to turn fifteen her grandmother wants her to have a quinceanero party. This party is celebrated at the fifteenth birthday of a girl and it is when the girl becomes a woman. At first Violet doesn't like the idea because she will have to wear a big pink dress. However, when she accepts the party she starts asking quest ...more
Heather Vest
Sep 08, 2010 rated it liked it
I read the book Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa. This book takes place in modern day Chicago, mostly in September, although around the end it jumps to May.
This book is in first person point of view. The main character is Violet Paz. Violet is a sophomore in high school and is a little uncomfortable with herself. She is part of the speech team at her school.
Violet’s grandmother comes to visit Violet for her birthday and insists that she have a quincearno (a party for Hispanic girls who are turning fifteen)
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What's the Name o...: About a girl having her quinceanera [s] 2 18 Jul 07, 2014 09:27PM  

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