Home > Uncategorized > Central America & Caribbean Area – Fiction

Central America & Caribbean Area – Fiction

November 16, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fiction that takes place in specific Central American & Caribbean nations.
Anguilla ;  Antigua and Barbuda ; Aruba ; The Bahamas ; Barbados ; Belize ; British Virgin Islands ; Cayman Islands ; Costa Rica ; Cuba ; Curacao ; Dominica ; Dominican Republic ; El Salvador ; Grenada ; Guatemala ; Haiti ; Honduras ; Jamaica ; Montserrat ; Navassa Island ; Nicaragua ; Panama ; Puerto Rico (not a nation) ; Saint Barthlemy ; Sait Kitts and Nevis ; Saint Lucia 



Tropical Kiss by Jan Coffey (HarperTeen, 2005)
Morgan doesn’t want to spend the summer in Aruba with the father she barely knows, but when Morgan finds some mysterious clues in her father’s office, the summer starts looking very exciting indeed.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (Simon Pulse, 2013)
While on spring break in Aruba, a young girl is accused of her best friend’s death and must stand trial for murder in a foreign country.



Thea Stilton and the Tropical Treasure by Thea Stilton (Scholastic, 2015)
While on vacation in the Bahamas, the Thea sisters stumble across an old pirate map and endeavor to find the treasure, unaware that someone else is also seeking the prize.


The Gaulin and the Dove: Railbirds of the Caribbean by Lewis Henry (Heinemann, 2008)
The adventures of a group of seven boys, known as the Mau-Mau Raiders, coming of age in a rural village in pre-independence Barbados.


Jack’s New Power: Stories from a Caribbean Year by Jack Gantos (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1995)
When his father moves the family to Barbados, Jack learns that life is not always idyllic on an island paradise.



Jess by Mary Casanova (Pleasant, 2006)
When ten-year-old Jess McConnell meets a new friend on her trip to the ancient Maya ruins in Belize, she is invited on an eco-adventure and makes some real discoveries about the dangers in the Belizean jungle, about the people who have lived there since long ago, and about herself.

Danger on Lighthouse Reef by P. J. Stray (Silver Burdett, 1997)
When teenage twins Maddie and Mike visit their engineer father in Belize during spring break for his wedding, they become entangled in the mysterious sickening of the sea animals around the reef at Caulker Caye.

Eclipse of the Jaguar by Richard Trout (Pelican, 2011)
While the MacGregor family is in Belize exploring Mayan temples, thirteen-year-old R.O. and his new friend, Katelynn, are kidnapped by looters.



Hacked by Linda C. Gerber (Puffin, 2012)
While on location in Costa Rica, Cassidy discovers that her blog has been hacked and wonders about Logan’s strange behavior.

The Divide by Elizabeth Kay (Scholastic, 2003)
While hiking on the Continental Divide of Costa Rica, a young boy with a heart condition falls into a magical otherworld full of fantastical creatures.

Hide and Seek by Kate Messner (Scholastic, 2013)
For five hundred years the Jaguar Cup, sacred to the Silver Jaguar Society, was hidden in a cave on the coast of Costa Rica–so when a fake copy shows up on display in America, it is up to José, Anna, and Henry, junior members of the society, to travel to Costa Rica and rescue the real cup from thieves.

Skye Above by Eric Walters (Orca, 2014)
Nine-year-old Skye has always had a fascination with flying. When Skye’s parents take her to Costa Rica, she is thrilled about all of the beautiful exotic birds she’ll get to see. What she doesn’t realize is that her parents have three big surprises planned, and each will offer her a different opportunity to feel what it’s like to fly.


Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba by Alma Flor Ada (Atheneum, 2015)
MEMOIR. The author presents a collection of autobiographical stories documenting her childhood in Cuba, including Where the Flame Trees Bloom, Under the Royal Palms and five new stories.

The Secret of the Bulls by José Raúl Bernardo (S&S, 1996)
Maximiliano and Delores marry and manage to raise a family, despite parental disapproval, natural disasters, financial hardships, and the “machismo” traditions of Cuban society in the early twentieth century.

Leaving Glorytown: One Boy’s Struggle Under Castro by Eduardo F. Calcines (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2009)
MEMOIR. When Eduardo Calcines was three years old, Communists took control of Cuba. Eleven years passed before Calcines and his family were finally able to leave the country. Now sixty-three, Calcines, a successful American businessman, recounts what it was like to grow up under Fidel Castro’s rule.

Old Dog by Teresa Cardenas (Groundwood, 2007)
After a hard life of constant disappointment, Perro Viejo, an old slave on a Cuban sugar plantation, has given up, until an encounter with a fellow slave and an escape to freedom make him open his heart to the world once again.

My Ocean by Enrique Perez Diaz (Groundwood, 2008)
When his grandparents flee Cuba, twelve-year-old Enrique is left to figure out the reasons why he and his family have been left behind and turns to the ocean in the hopes of figuring out what he needs to do.

The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist by Margarita Engle (Houghton, 2013)
In free verse, evokes the voice of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, a book-loving writer, feminist, and abolitionist who courageously fought injustice in nineteenth-century Cuba. Includes historical notes, excerpts from her writings, biographical information, and source notes.

Lion Island: Chinese Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle (Atheneum, 2016)
A biographical novel about Antonio Chuffat, a Chinese-African-Cuban messenger boy in 1870s Cuba who became a translator and documented the freedom struggle of indentured Chinese laborers in his country.

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt, 2009)
Escaping from Nazi Germany to Cuba in 1939, a young Jewish refugee dreams of finding his parents again, befriends a local girl with painful secrets of her own, and discovers that the Nazi darkness is never far away.

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)
In early twentieth-century Cuba, bandits terrorize the countryside as a young farm girl struggles with dyslexia. Based on the life of the author’s grandmother.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis (Roaring Brook, 2010)
When unrest hits the streets of Havana, Cuba, Julian’s parents must make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation. But when the boys get to Miami, they are thrust into a world where bullies seem to run rampant and it’s not always clear how best to protect themselves.

Raining Sardines by Enrique Flores-Galbis (Roaring Brook, 2007)
The artistic Ernestina and the analytical Enriquito use their ingenuity to save a herd of wild horses and stop an evil landowner from spoiling their Cuban village.

From Amigos to Friends by Pelayo Garcia (Piñata, 1997)
When the Cuban Revolution causes indiscriminate disruption throughout their country in 1959, three teenage boys are forced to grow up earlier than anyone could expect.

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Knopf, 2010)
In 1961 after Castro has come to power in Cuba, fourteen-year-old Lucia and her seven-year-old brother are sent to the United States when her parents, who are not in favor of the new regime, fear that the children will be taken away from them as others have been.

Feminist and Abolitionist: The Story of Emilia Casanova by Virginia Sánchez Korrol (Piñata, 2013)
A fictionalized memoir of Emilia Casanova, a Cuban woman who fought for independence from Spain and for freedom for the African slaves on her island home.

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera (Albert Whitman, 2011)
Six months after the events of September 11, 2001, Khalid, a Muslim fifteen-year-old boy from England is kidnapped during a family trip to Pakistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he is held for two years suffering interrogations, water-boarding, isolation, and more for reasons unknown to him.

Flight to Freedom by Ana Veciana-Suarez (Orchard, 2002)
Writing in the diary which her father gave her, thirteen-year-old Yara describes life with her family in Havana, Cuba, in 1967 as well as her experiences in Miami, Florida, after immigrating there to be reunited with some relatives while leaving others behind.

Game Seven by Paul Volponi (Viking, 2015)
A sixteen-year-old shortstop in Cuba who dreams of playing with the pros must choose between his country and his father who defected to the U.S.

My Havana by Rosemary Wells (Candlewick, 2010)
Relates events in the childhood of architect Secundino Fernandez, who left his beloved Havana, Cuba, with his parents, first to spend a year in Spain, and later to move to New York City.

The Other Half of Life: A Novel Based on the True Story of the M.S. St. Louis by Kim Albion Whitney (Knopf, 2009)
In 1939, fifteen-year-old Thomas sails on a German ship bound for Cuba with more than nine hundred German Jews expecting to be granted safe haven in Cuba.

Cuban Americans

The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill (Katherine Tegen, 2016)
A sixteen-year-old Cuban American joins a salsa class to meet a girl, then invites her to spend the summer with his family in Havana. They investigate his mother’s reasons for leaving Cuba decades earlier, learning about the impact politics can have on individual lives.


Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez (Knopf, 2002)
In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.

The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph (HarperCollins, 2000)
When life gets difficult for Ana Rosa, a twelve-year-old would-be writer living in a small village in the Dominican Republic, she can depend on her older brother to make her feel better–until the life-changing events on her thirteenth birthday.

Americans in the Dominican Republic

Not a Chance by Michelle Mulder (Orca, 2013)
When thirteen-year-old Dian arrives in the Dominican Republic for the summer, she learns that her friend, fourteen-year-old Aracely, is engaged to be married.

Dominican Americans

Flowers in the Sky by Lynn Joseph (HarperTeen, 2013)
Fifteen-year-old Nina immigrates from the Dominican Republic to New York to live with her older brother and must reconcile the realities of Washington Heights with the dreams of the U.S. her mami envisioned for her.


by Skila Brown (Candlewick, 2014)*
In 1981 with the arrival of soldiers in his Guatemalan village, Carlos must flee and join a band of guerillas who head to the mountains where his grandmother lives to warn her about the soldiers. Grades 5-8. AR: 4.7

Colibri by Ann Cameron (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2003)*
Kidnapped when she was very young by an unscrupulous man who has forced her to lie and beg to get money, a twelve-year-old Mayan girl endures an abusive life, always wishing she could return to the parents she can hardly remember. Grade 5-8. AR: 4.6. Lexile: 730

The Most Beautiful Place in the World by Ann Cameron (Knopf 1988)
Growing up with his grandmother in a small Guatemalan town, seven-year-old Juan discovers the value of hard work, the joy of learning, and the location of the most beautiful place in the world. Grade 3-6. AR: 4.2. Lexile: 830

Among the Volcanoes by Omar S. Castaneda (Lodestar, 1991)
When her mother becomes ill, Isabel, a Mayan girl living in contemporary Guatemala, must care for her and continue her search for her own identity in a world fraught with upheaval and change. And sequel: Imagining Isabel. Young Adult. AR: 5.5. Lexile: 820

The Well of Sacrifice by Chris Eboch (Clarion, 1999)*
When a Mayan girl in ninth-century Guatemala suspects that the High Priest sacrifices anyone who stands in the way of his power, she proves herself a hero.

Libertad by Alma Fullerton (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008)
Libertad and his younger brother, Julio, live near the Guatamala City dump. When their mother dies, Libertad and Julio try to earn a living as street musicians while they work their way north to cross into the United States to find their father. Grades 6-10. AR: 4.3

The Girl from Chimel by Rigoberta Menchú (Groundwood, 2005)*
NARRATIVE NONFICTION. Presents a collection of illustrated stories that describe the world of the Mayan people of Guatemala before the time of the Conquest. Grades 4-7 . AR: 5.2. Lexile: 860.

The Honey Jar by Rigoberta Menchú (Groundwood, 2006)
FOLKLORE. The Honey Jar retells the ancient stories Rigoberta Menchu ‘s grandparents told her when she was a little girl, and we can imagine her listening to them by the fire at night. These Maya tales include natural phenomena, narratives, and animal stories. The underworld, the sky, the sun and moon, plants, people, animals, gods, and demi-gods are all players in these vibrant stories. Enchanting images by Domi draw on the Maya landscape and the rich visual vocabulary that can be found in the weavings and crafts for which the Maya are renowned. Grades 4-6. AR: 5.4. Lexile: 850

Red Midnight by Ben Mikaelsen (HarperCollins, 2002)*
After soldiers kill his family, twelve-year-old Santiago and his four-year-old sister flee Guatemala in a kayak and try to reach the United States. Kayaks and kayaking. Survival. Emigration and immigration. Grade 5-9. AR: 4.3. Lexile: 690

Tree Girl by Ben Mikaelsen (Rayo, 2004)
When, protected by the branches of one of the trees she loves to climb, Gabriela witnesses the destruction of her Mayan village and the murder of nearly all its inhabitants, she vows never to climb again until, after she and her traumatised sister find safety in a Mexican refugee camp, she realizes that only by climbing and facing their fears can she and her sister hope to have a future. Grade 6-12. AR: 5.7. Lexile: 880

Journey of Dreams by Marge Pellegrino (Frances Lincoln, 2009)
When their village is destroyed in the Guatemalan Civil War, Tomasa and her family, except her mother and brother, who have been taken by the authorities, begin the long trek north in search of somewhere they will be safe. Grades 5-8. AR: 4.5. Lexile: 740.


Serafina’s Promise
by Ann E. Burg (Scholastic, 2013)
In a poor village outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Serafina works hard to help her family, but dreams of going to school and becoming a doctor–then the earthquake hits and Serafina must summon all her courage to find her father and still get medicine for her sick baby brother as she promised.

Anacaona, Golden Flower by Edwidge Danticat (Scholastic, 2005)
Beginning in 1490, Anacaona keeps a record of her life as a possible successor to the supreme chief of Xaragua, as wife of the chief of Maguana, and as a warrior battling the first white men to arrive in the West Indies, ravenous for gold.

Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat (Orchard, 2002)
Writing in the notebook which her teacher gave her, thirteen-year-old Celiane describes life with her mother and brother in Haiti as well as her experiences in Brooklyn after the family finally immigrates there to be reunited with her father.

In Darkness by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury, 2012)
In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L’Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.

Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner (Amulet, 2015)
In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Nadine goes to live with her father in Miami while her cousin Magdalie, raised as her sister, remains behind in a refugee camp, dreaming of joining Nadine but wondering if she must accept that her life and future are in Port-au-Prince.

Haitian Americans

A Song for Bijou by Josh Farrar (Walker Books, 2013)
Seventh-grader Alex Schrader’s life changes when he meets Bijou Doucet, a Haitian girl recently relocated to Brooklyn, and while he is determined to win her heart Alex also learns about dating rules and Haitian culture.

Fresh Girl by Jaira Placide (Wendy Lamb, 2002)
After having been sent, at a very young age, from New York to live with her grandmother in Haiti, fourteen-year-old Mardi returns to join her parents and try to shape a new life in Brooklyn.

Stormwitch by Susan Vaught (Bloomsbury, 2005)
In Pass Christian, Mississippi in 1969, sixteen-year-old Ruba, trained by her Haitian grandmother in both voodoo and Amazonian warrior tactics, uses her skills to fight against racism and the African witch Zashar, now coming ashore in the form of Hurricane Camille.



A Thief in the Village: And Other Stories by James Berry (Orchard, 1988)
A collection of nine short stories about life in contemporary Jamaica, on such subjects as a young boy’s desire to buy shoes for the cricket team and a girl’s adventures on a coconut plantation.

The Jacob Ladder by Gerald Hausman (Orchard, 2001)
After his father leaves their family, twelve-year-old Uton Hinds, known as Tall T, tries to earn extra money in his Jamaican village and tries to further his education as he ponders how he feels about his father’s behavior.



Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow (Razorbill, 2006)
Forced to stay with her mother in Puerto Rico for weeks after her grandmother’s funeral, half-Jewish Emily, who has just graduated from a Westchester, New York, high school, does not find it easy to connect with her Puerto Rican heritage and relatives she had never met.





NOTE: Red numbers denote how many holdings are noted in reQuest. An asterisk means that the book is available at the State Library Service Centers.

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