27. The Road to Santiago by D.H. Figueredo
Retell: Every year Figueredo and his family return to Santiago, Cuba for Christmas. When calls for revolution sounded throughout Cuba the author recalls how his family almost didn’t make it home for his favorite holiday.
Topics: Cuba, Christmas, rebels, family, kindness of strangers, traditions
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Memoir, Historical Fiction
Tribes: personal best, mutual respect
Reading Skills: making connections, monitoring for sense
Writing Skills: zooming in on small moments, incorporating vocabulary from another language, generating notebook ideas
My Thoughts: A common thread thoughout the story is kindness. Each scene highlights how people were kind to the author’s family: a mill worker helps them fix a flat tire, a young man gives up his seat on the bus. Though this is technically a personal narrative I could see reading this book during a unit on writing historical fiction. The story takes place during the 1950s revolutionary period in Cuba. He threads details of the time period throughout the story making this a good historical fiction mentor text.
Entry filed under: Latino Authors, Male authors, Picture Books. Tags: Christmas, Cuba, family, historical fiction, kindness, making connections, memoir, mutual respect, personal best, personal narrative, rebels, Spanish, strangers, traditions, vocabulary, writers notebook.