Jumping Off to Freedom
Nominated to the American Library Association’s annual list of Recommended Reading for Reluctant Young Readers, Quick Picks 1997.
by Anilú Bernardo
Publication Date: March 31, 1996
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 11 and up
A dangerous journey into the unknown is the only hope for the future of the Leal family in Anilú Bernardo’s new novel for young adults, Jumping Off to Freedom.
The stifling dictatorship in Cuba has left young David Leal and his family no other recourse than to join the thousands of balseros plunging their rafts into the sea in hopes of reaching the Florida coast for relief and the beginnings of a new life. In order to brave the treacherous voyage, David and his father must leave half of the family behind with promises to send for them after securing jobs and housing in Florida.
In this gripping story for young adults, father and son are pitted against the dangerous forces of nature, storms, sharks, hunger, thirst, and the chaos brought on by two uncontrollable traveling companions. When David’s father becomes dangerously ill during the journey the young man is left to face the turbulent seas and his chaotic raft mates by himself. This riveting psychological thriller pitches the reader into a nerve-tautening adventure on the high seas.
Included in the 1999-2000 Houston Area Independent School Library Network Recommended Reading List
Nominated to the American Library Association’s Annual Quick Picks 1997 List of Recommended Reading for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
“Survival story fans and readers looking for breathtaking action will not be disappointed.”—Booklist
“As librarians and teachers seek multicultural fiction to illuminate trouble spots in the world, this title fits.”—School Library Journal
Though ANILÚ BERNARDO first wrote poetry, she now focuses her talents on fiction for young adults, much of her writing focusing on the Cuban-American experience. Her award-winning novels include Jumping Off to Freedom (1996), Fitting In (1996), and Loves Me, Loves Me Not (1998), all published by Arte Público Press. Bernardo spent her adolescent years in Miami and attended Florida State University where she earned a B.A. in Spanish and a Master’s degree in Communications. As the Director of Public Information for a large organization, she honed her skills writing media releases and internal communications. She turned to writing books in 1995 and currently lives in Plantation, Florida with her husband and two daughters.
ATOS Interest Level: Middle Grades
Category: Young Adult
ATOS English: 5.1
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 35023