Esther is determined to join her father in Cuba and work to get the rest of her family out of Poland. She is the oldest child, after all, even if she is a girl.
Papa agrees, and Esther travels alone across Europe and the Atlantic to join him in Cuba.
Her new home enchants Esther, and she immediately sets to work, joining her father on their peddling rounds. In the process of making herself lighter weight dresses for the warm climate, Esther hits on a way to make money faster, so her mother, grandmother and younger siblings can get out of Poland and into Cuba before Europe descends completely into war, and before Cuba refuses any more Jewish refugees.
I’m not a huge fan of reading letters or diaries instead of a straight novel, but Ruth Behar’s Letters from Cuba kept me captivated throughout.
Highly recommended for ages 8 and up.