Cuba in My Pocket
Cuba in My Pocket

Cuba in My Pocket

Written by Adrianna Cuevas
8 - 12
Reading age
Page count
Words per page
Lexile measure
Sep 20, 2022
Publication date

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What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

By the author of 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a sweeping, emotional middle grade historical novel about a twelve-year-old boy who leaves his family in Cuba to immigrate to the U.S. by himself, based on the author’s family history.”I don’t remember. Tell me everything, Pepito. Tell me about Cuba.” When the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 solidifies Castro’s power in Cuba, twelve-year-old Cumba’s family makes the difficult decision to send him to Florida alone. Faced with the prospect of living in another country by himself, Cumba tries to remember the sound of his father’s clarinet, the smell of his mother’s lavender perfume. Life in the United States presents a whole new set of challenges. Lost in a sea of English speakers, Cumba has to navigate a new city, a new school, and new freedom all on his own. With each day, Cumba feels more confident in his new surroundings, but he continues to wonder: Will his family ever be whole again? Or will they remain just out of reach, ninety miles across the sea? A Kirkus Best Children’s Book of the Year…Cuevas’ latest is a triumph of the heart…A compassionate, emotionally astute portrait of a young Cuban in exile. –Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW Cuevas’ intense and immersive account of a Cuban boy’s experience after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion brings a specific point in history alive. –Booklist, STARRED REVIEWCuevas packs this sophomore novel with palpable emotions and themes of friendship, love, longing, and trauma, attentively conveying tumultuous historical events from the lens of one young refugee. – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

What Kind of Book is Cuba in My Pocket


Americaculturehistoryimmigration and emigrationfamilyCuba20th centurysocial themesfamily life1960'srefugees

Race, Ethnicities, & Nationalities

What Should I Know As a Parent

Families are unique and have different expectations for the books they choose to read. The following are concepts included in this book that some parents may wish to seek out or avoid.

Note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be concepts in this book that are not included or have been insufficiently or incorrectly detailed here.


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Book Details

Publication Date
September 20, 2022
Square Fish
Page Count
Words Per Page
Middle Grade
Reading Age
8 - 12 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
Lexile® Level
Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader® Points
Accelerated Reader Quiz
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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Core Score - 55%

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Depth Score - 21%

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