The Red Umbrella

by Christina Diaz Gonzalez 284 pg.

In a moment, their whole lives changed.


Lucia, her brother Frankie, her father Fernando, and her mother Sonia live in a small town in Cuba named Puerto Mijares during the communist revolution in 1961. The revolution is changing her town and the whole country in big ways. Young children are forced to join youth groups and revolution support organizations to learn to take part in the revolution. Young men and women are training to become brigatistas (members of the brigades). Lucia and her family don't want any part in the revolution, but pressure grows as family and friends are trying to force them to be active in the revolution and Fidel Castro's growing communist government is enforcing more and more laws restricting the rights of citizens and is beginning to eliminate his anti-revolutionary opposition in brutal ways. Lucia's family and her best friend Ivette are really the only people she can trust now. Things become too dangerous for the family as friends and family are being arrested or killed and people whom they've known their whole lives are betraying them. So Lucia and Frankie are sent to live with a Catholic church in Miami harboring child immigrants from Cuba. They soon get adopted and move with the Baxters to a small town in Nebraska and officially start their lives as American citizens. Will the two siblings learn to adapt to their new lifestyle? Will they ever see their parents or Cuba again?

Spotlight Review by Joshua Laurent


The theme of this story is too to stay strong and never give up. Lucia and Frankie went through many trials and tribulations in the book but they still had each other and they managed to keep on fighting. I feel like this book relates to my life because I go through some challenges as I grow up (school for example) but I keep my head held high and I don't quit. You may be going through challenges too. But you must know that things will get better for you. There are times when I feel knocked down, but I just have to get back up again and keep trying. If I don't persevere, I will never accomplish anything in life. Another reason this book relates to my life is that when I moved from Florida to Georgia I was scared because I didn't know anyone. I moved to a different school with new kids and new teachers. But after a while, I got used to it here and I did very well.