90 Miles to Havana, by Enrique Flores-Galbis. Roaring Book Press, 2010.
When Castro takes power in Cuba in a violent uprising, and rebels begin taking over the homes and possessions of families, 9-year old Julio's parents decide to send him and his two older brothers to a refugee camp in Miami for safety. They expect to be reunited in a few weeks. In camp, they are met by a different reality than the one promised: bullies, gangs, poverty and lies. Through Angelita, a family friend, Julio becomes involved in an illicit and daring plan to rebuild an abandoned boat and rescue his parents.
Flores-Galbis was a child refugee from Cuba and this children's novel is based directly on his own experiences with "Operation Pedro Pan." It is a story that picks up momentum with each chapter, and gives voice to a part of American history that is seldom taught.