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90 Miles to Havana
Transcript of 90 Miles to Havana
What does the title mean?
"90 Miles to Havana" is based on Flores-Galbis's experiences and how he came to the United States of America during Operation Pedro Pan, when more than fourteen thousand of Cuban children were sent to Miami and then relocated to cities in the U.S. It also tells us about the feelings that the children had felt when they were leaving their familes, and facing tough challenges when they arrive there.
Plot and Conflict
Significant Characters of the Story
90 miles to Havana
A Pura Belpré Honor Book &
A Sunshine State Young Reader's Award Selection
Julian and his family were just spending their New Year’s Eve on the coastside of Havana when the Cuban revolution breaks out in the city’s streets. Soon, many people are moving away from the unrest, with Julian and his two older brothers going to the U.S. for safety. However, once they arrive at the refugee camp they find out that it’s overcrowded and also, even worse, they find that the adults rely on Caballo, who is a ornery, nasty bully, to supervise the camp. So Julian escapes and is taken in by Tomás, a fellow Cuban who is repairing a boat to illegally transport people from Cuba. He decides to help him, hoping that he can become hero.
Figure of Speech
or Literary Device
Statement of Theme
• Alquilino is Julian’s oldest brother who was sent along with Julian and Gordo to the United States. He doesn’t like to get into trouble and always thinks twice before he does something. However, he somtimes can also become extremely angry, and won’t easily forgive anyone who bullies his brothers and friends.
•When Gordo starts fighting with Caballo, Alquilino separates them and says to Caballo, "Caballo, we're all friends!" while trying to hold Gordo back.
•Eduardo “Gordo” is Julian’s second oldest brother in his family. He was sent to Miami, Florida along with his younger brother Julian and older brother Alquilino. He usually is very arrogant and stubborn, and makes fun of Julian when he when does something wrong. However, he always protects Julian whenever Caballo bullies him and fight him back.
•When Julian, Alquilino and Gordo arrive at the camp and meet Caballo, the bully, he gives him a sarcastic comment, saying, “Romeo, how have you been,” Gordo and Caballo don’t like each other, and Caballo hates being called “Romeo,” his original name, so he gives him a sarcastic greeting which results into a fight on the first day.
Caballo is a mean, nasty bully that the adults rely on to help supervise the camp. Nobody really respects him as he wants to be, since everyone fears him. He doesn't like being called Romeo, which is his real name, and will beat up anyone who calls him that. He cares about his reputation, and doesn’t want to feel humiliated.
When he takes Julian’s special drawing book, Julian says, “Caballo, give me back my drawings,please,” but Caballo just says, “It’s mine now!”
Julian is the main character of the story. He likes draw and help others, even though sometimes his two older brothers say that he is too young to help them. However, Julian can also sometimes would get really angry and
When Gordo and Alquilino want to break into Angelita’s house to get their mom’s golden bird from there, Julian wanted to come and help, but Gordo said that it was dangerous, and he might do something stupid. Julian said, “What if you do something stupid, Gordo? You’re not perfect, and besides I know all their hiding places.” Gordo then reluctantly agreed to include him.
“There is a whole tree -- leaves, roots, and all -- in the back of the truck, as if a giant had just yanked it out of the ground.The tips of the roots look like hands waving, waving up at the man in orbit above us.” At the end of the story, Julian is walking to the bus stop to his new school in Connecticut with his two brothers when the first american astronaut went up to space. He saw a truck pass by a tree at the back, with the roots pointed up at the sky. He then thought that if the United States could send a man up to space, than almost anything is possible, so it would be easy to start a new life here in the U.S.
The kind of people that would want to read this novel would be for kids who would like and adventure, because you could get to feel about how one child was thrusted into a whole new world where he doesn’t know what to do without his parents.
The book was suspenseful at some parts of the book, for example, when Tomás and Julian had to rescue 14 people from Cuba without getting caught, and also when the boat ran out of power, all the people on board had to find ways to make the boat keep going to its destination.
The theme of this story is to always help others and also never let history repeat itself. For example, when Julian goes to America to escape from the Cuban Revolution, he still finds a “dictator,” which is Caballo, bullying others and telling others what they should do, and making it worse when the adults in the camp rely on him to take charge. We should all be helping others achieve peace and stability, not just only becoming what we had been before.
Caballo is a mean, nasty bully that supervises the camp.
Alquilino can be calm and serious, but also protective and defensive.
Gordo, a hot-tempered and irascible person, always tries to find a way to defeat Caballo.
Julian, a smart boy, but easily angered.
By: John Cheung