90 Miles to Havana,

Published by Roaring Book Press, 2010

The second novel, 90 Miles to Havana, presents a child’s view of the Cuban revolution, and life in the overcrowded camps where children of operation Pedro Pan airlift stayed. Julian must decide how he is to deal with the Caballo the bully.

Will he model his response on the tumultuous events of the Cuban revolution he witnessed, or do it the new Democratic way that Dolores the camp cook recommends?

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Raining Sardines,

Published by Roaring Book Press, 2007

Raining Sardines is a fast paced adventure novel that will appeal to young readers from the fourth grade and up.

The story takes place in a fishing village in the northern coast of Cuba in the mid-nineteen fifties where history and myth come together to create a magical setting.

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The main characters, Ernestina and Enriquito are friends from the cradle who have forged a friendship based on mutual respect for their differences. Ernestina is an imaginative and volatile eleven-year-old artist, a dreamer who can visualize possibilities. Enriquito, a little engineer at nine, is a linear thinker who uses logic to formulate plans and materialize their dreams.

They explore the jungle-covered mountain rising from their backyard where they befriend a herd of wild Paso Fino ponies, fugitives from the days of the Conquistadors. Their mountain is haunted by Hatuey, the leader of the native Taino people. According to well documented stories, he convinced his tribe to gather all their gold and throw it into a lake, reasoning that it would be the only way they could get rid of the Spaniards.

Their secret world begins to crumble when Alicia, Ernestina’s snooty classmate, claims that her wealthy family owns the meadow and the ponies. When they act to save the ponies they discover the lake in the hidden valley where Hatuey threw the gold.
Working together Ernestina and Enriquito outwit Alysia and Don Rigol, Alysia’s father, a wealthy landowner, and win a reprieve for the ponies.

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Enrique Flores-Galbis says,

“These books were born on a painting trip to Cuba, the place where I was born. Walking in Havana, now a brittle honeycomb, I could hear the ghosts rattling their bags of memories and bones. As they brushed by, they breathed color and light back into the crystallized memories of an exile.

Now, in my dreams, I return to my Cuba anytime I want, to swim the endless beaches, sail the bays, and ride horses over the rolling green hills. When I awake, I am always inspired to try to write the down those stories that the ghosts whispered in my ear.”

Enrique Flores-Galbis, at age nine, was one of 14,000 children who left Cuba in 1961, without their parents, in a mass exodus called “Operation Pedro Pan.” He and his two older brothers spent months in a refugee camp in southern Florida.

He now lives in Forest Hills, New York, with his wife and two daughters. A noted portrait painter and art teacher, this is his first book.



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