My Havana; Memories Of A Cuban Boyhood


Eleven-year-old Secundino "Dino" Fernandez is fascinated by his city: Havana. He always has a sketchbook and pencils handy, as he loves drawing the buildings and sites of his home town. When he was six, his family moved from Cuba to Spain to help relatives. Within three years of their return, Fidel Castro's Revolution began and the family fled to the United States.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Beautiful illustrations combine with Fernandez' personal journey make an incredible book for transitional readers (those who still need some illustration).

Content Awareness Factors:


Little Kid Reaction

My daughter thought Dino was "cute" and was fascinated by his story. She drew on specific elements to connect them with people in her family (e.g., her uncle is an architect and loves to draw). She asked lots of questions and pored over the illustrations. [note: we read an Advance Review Copy and the illustrations were black and white.]

Parent Reaction

I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled that my 9YO wanted to keep reading more of this book in one sitting. Cuba (particularly the Cuban Revolution) fascinate me and I love not only how rich the story is, but how it is so completely accessible to upper elementary readers. Even black and white the illustrations are incredible ... this is one I will definitely look for in the library.

Type of Book:
This is a memoir / biography written for transitional readers.
Educational Themes:

There is a lot to explore with this book. In addition to talking about Cuba's history and immigration and emigration, there are "personal" themes from family to bullying to following your passion.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 to 12
Age of child:
Read with a 9-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is a wonderful story and is an excellent choice for introducing kids to memoirs.

Title My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood
Author Rosemary Wells, Secundino Fernandez
Publisher Candlewick © 2010
Illustrators Peter Ferguson
ISBN 9780763643058
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Family, Biography, 1940s & 1950s, 1960s & 1970s
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