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90 Miles to Havana
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90 Miles to Havana

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,085 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
When Julian's parents make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away from Cuba to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation, the boys are thrust into a new world where bullies run rampant and it's not always clear how best to protect themselves.

90 Miles to Havana is a 2011 Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative and a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of
ebook, 304 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Roaring Brook Press
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2011 ALA Pura Belpré Award Honor Book

What I loved about his story was the parallel between bullying at the Pedro Pan camp with Castro's bullying of the Cuban country. But what I loved more than that, was the character, a surrogate father to the boy Julian, for whom the revolution is a boon, and who none the less helps Julian and his family.

A great read that I hope will garner a wider readership thanks to the Belpré.
Fifth grade and up.
Jazlyn Caraballo
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I have chosen for my multicultural literature assignment is “90 Miles to Havana.” This book was based off the author’s experience. It is about a little boy and his family who live in Cuba. In the beginning of the book it starts off with historical facts about the revolution that was taken place in Cuba. Throughout the story Julian and his family go through very hard times. Julian and his brothers eventually end up in a camp in the southern parts of Miami. His two older brothers were se ...more
Joy Kirr
I know nothing about Cuba and what happened in the 60s there. Now I know just a TEENY bit. This story is more about the author’s experiences as a child refugee who was sent away from his parents to Miami. It sucks you in right away, and then you’re bombarded with an easy-to-hate bully character for the middle part of the book. Finally there’s hope, but is there, really? My eyes were opened to another piece of history, and how it affected some children. It made me wonder about all of the other ch ...more
Karen Henspeter
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
o APA citation: Flores-Galbis, E. (2012). 90 miles to Havana. New York, NY: Square Fish Publishers.

o Genre: Multi-cultural

o Format: Print

o Selection process: ALSC & YALSA 2011 book picks. (2011). School Library Journal, 50-57, award recipient (2011 Pura Belpré Honor Book for Narrative, 2011 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year)

o Review:
It is the year 1961, and Fidel Castro has recently overtaken the government in Cuba. Julian, the youngest of three boys and the son of respectable, h
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is the fascinating tale of a refugee from Cuba. The book is based on the real-life experiences of the author, who underwent similar events in his own childhood. Julian, the main character, is sent with his brothers from Cuba to Miami right after the Revolution. They have to leave their parents behind and begin a new life alone. The boys are sent to a camp in Miami for Cuban children where they have to adjust to new bullies, a new language, and a new way of life. After being separated ...more
Arlene Szalay
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: slmta
This is a really good multicultural book. It is based on the author's experience as a child when he left Cuba in 1961 in operation Pedro Pan. It opens on New Years Day in Havana, Cuba as Castro's revolution is beginning. Julian lives in a well-to-do neighborhood and suddenly there is fighting in the streets. His neighbors the Garcias leave for the United States the next day and soon afterward, Julian's parents unable to leave themselves send him and his brothers to what is advertised as a "summe ...more
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12-14
Recommended to Beverly by: YALSA Best Books for YA 2011
I was surprised and pleased when a few of my reluctant readers chose 90 Miles to Havana, an historical novel, over the more predictable suggestions of the wonderful Multnomah County Library School Corps young adult librarian. I was even more please when they all praised the book, so I decided I'd better read it, too. I loved it. The author, Enrique Flores-Galbis, based the story of young refugee Julian, on his own experiences as a Cuban refugee. It is a very realistic and historically accurate p ...more
Apr 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little covered topic, this was a great book to learn about Cuban refugees fleeing to America in 1961. Operation Pedro Pan aided children escapees, and the book describes one young boys adventures trying to acclimate to this "camp" in America. I enjoyed the different perspectives of the revolution occurring in Cuba. Based on the author's own experiences, the story is an honest account that will educate while entertain.
A good book. I like historical fiction and it was interesting to read a book about Cuba from that perspective. I've always read books or articles by people from the revolutionary point of view. I would recommend this book to my students, indeed.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enrique Flores-Galbis, author of 90 Miles to Havana, was one of several thousands of children who fled Cuba due to the horrid environment of the Cuban Revolution. 90 Miles to Havana is based on Enrique’s childhood experience, I still can't fathom how a small child, who barely spoke English, had to survive on his own surrounded by giants. Julian, portrayal of Enrique, was kept at a refugee camp held for subjects of the Pedro-Pan operation. Though Julian had his two older brothers at the camp with ...more
David Goodwin
In the early 1950’s, Cuba was a dictatorship under the rule of Fulgencio Batista. That is, until military leader Fidel Castro dethroned Batista in 1959, and transformed Cuba into a communist nation. During this time, many people left the country to get away from the fighting. However, some families couldn’t afford to all go at once. The parents’ solutions were oftentimes to send their children to the United States, and eventually hope they could find the money to meet up with them.
Enrique Flore
Leslie Fitzpatrick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richie Partington
28 December 2009 90 MILES TO HAVANA by Enrique Flores-Galbis, Roaring Brook, August 2010, 296p., ISBN: 978-1-59643-168-3

"We were hardly aware of the hardships they beared,
for our time was taken with treasure.
Oh, life was a game, and work was a shame,
And pain was prevented by pleasure.
The world, cold and gray, was so far away
In a distance only money could measure.
But their thoughts were broken by the ringing of revolution."
-- Phil Ochs

"'To really show what a revolution is, you'd have to draw at
Zoe Heinnrich-McMullen
Galbis tells a unique true story told in first person by a kid that immigrates to the U.S. from Cuba in 1961 during the revolution. Have you ever felt like you’ve lost control of your life? Like you have no say in when or where you’ll end up? Well, the way you may feel probably isn’t even close to what the main character in this story faces, 90 Miles to Havana. The theme is: having the freedom of choice is not something to take for granted. In this the author shows the theme through craft. Alth ...more
Full disclosure: I read this book while in Cuba, so I might have enjoyed it more than I ordinarily would have. Enrique Flores-Galbis is a Cuban-American, so the representation in this novel is accurate and has authority. Huge plus right there.

90 Miles to Havana is the story of twelve-year-old Julian who is living a normal happy life when the Cuban Revolution comes and changes everything, and he and his two brothers are sent to Miami and have to figure out their new lives.

Julian is a sweet kid.
Jo Fetsco
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is 1961 in Cuba and Julian is one of the 14,000 children who were sent to Florida by their parents to escape the revolution via the Pedro Pan operation.  Julian comes with his two older brothers who ending up getting sent to another refugee area in Colorado and Julian is left behind to deal with the camp, his feelings of isolation and confusion, and the bullies there. This novel is inspired by the author’s own  similar experiences and is definitely a coming-of-age story.  
Miss Amanda
gr 4-7 290pgs

1961, Havana / Miami. Julian and his older brothers are sent alone as part of the Pedro Pan operation to safety in Miami. Unsure when their parents will join them, Julian and his brothers must figure out a way to stay together at the relocation camp and deal with Caballo, a bully who they knew in Havan, who is also at the camp.

Based on the author's own experiences.

Great story!
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book when planning a trip to Cuba. While it is informative, it's more of a story of a child's experience once in Florida. It seemed a bit unrealistic for me but I tried to keep in mind that it's a youth novel. It was an interesting perspective of the revolution. Recommend for a younger audience.
Amanda Funnell
Immigration and division between races is a concept hard to grasp for those of us on the majority. I so appreciated getting to step into Julian's world and see things from his perspective as he faced terrifying moments of not knowing whether or not his family would ever be reunited.
Addi Ganschow
This book is a well written (and true!, at least partially) book. I would recommend it, but I've definitely read better books in my life. If you like partial historical partial memoir genre books, you will like this book. You can find this book in the KJHS IMC/library.
I could only say I wish there was more action but other than that it was pretty good and eyeopening.
Children are put to the test during a revolution of any sort and Julian more than masters the challenge!
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a family’s journey to America from Cuba during the Cuban revolution.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The author is splendid at painting a picture. Great read for 5-7th grade!
Kelly Beckham
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many kids and families can relate to the emotional story of coming to the U.S. seeking safety and a better life. Great read!
Sky Postell
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's strange how nobody talks about these things.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me awhile to get hooked on the book, but once I did I couldn't stop reading.
Tommy Correnti
it was a good book.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great, true story!
Margo Tanenbaum
Author and artist Enrique Flores-Galbis has written an exciting coming of age story based on his own experiences as one of the 14,000 Cuban children sent from Cuba to the U.S. without their parents in 1961 in Operation Pedro Pan, the largest exodus ever in the Western hemisphere of unaccompanied children.

The book opens with Julian, his two older brothers, their father and their family cook, Bebo, on their annual New Year's Eve fishing trip. Julian's main concern is his embarrassment over losing
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Enrique is painter who started writing when he returned to Cuba after being away for thirty years. As he painted in the streets of Havana during the day dusty memories started flood back,then at night he would record his vivid memories. His two books grew out of the three notebooks he filled during those late night sessions.
Enrique lives in New York with his wife, who is also and artist, and his
More about Enrique Flores-Galbis...