“Anyone can write as long as you know a little about the process.” That was the message that Enrique Flores-Galbis, author of the award-winning historical novel 90 Miles to Havana, brought to Northwest Catholic High School students and teachers.
Over the course of 2 days, Enrique spoke to sophomores and seniors about creativity and the writing process, telling students they need to focus their imagination in order to develop their creative side. He talked to freshmen and juniors about Cuba’s history and culture, providing additional background and context for his novel. He also met with a select group of students to answer their questions about the novel, Cuba and the writing process. The students were selected based on essays they had written about 90 Miles to Havana, which was required summer reading for all NWC students.
Published in 2010, 90 Miles to Havana is based on Enrique’s own experience as one of 14,000 children who left Cuba in 1961, without their parents, in a mass exodus called “Operation Pedro Pan.” In the early 1960s, Cuban parents feared indoctrination of their children and that the Cuban government under Fidel Castro would take away their parental authority. Parents were able to get their children out of Cuba through Operation Pedro Pan. Enrique and his two older brothers spent months in a refugee camp in southern Florida.
90 Miles to Havana has received several honors for its depiction of Hispanic culture and Cuban history, including the Association for Library Service to Children and REFORMA, The National Council for the Social Studies Exceptional Children’s Book list, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, Association for Library Service to Children Notable Children’s Book list, and The Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Choice Award.
Since 1961, Northwest Catholic’s mission has been to educate the whole person: mind, body, spirit, and soul. Enrollment for the Class of ’17 is now under way, and prospective students are invited to the Open House at NWC on Nov. 11, 2012. For more information, contact Maryann Lacouture (860-236-4221, x140 or firstname.lastname@example.org).