Leaving Glorytown (Hardcover)

By Eduardo F. Calcines

St. Martins Press-3pl, 9780374343941, 240pp.

Publication Date: March 31, 2009



Eduardo F. Calcines was a child of Fidel Castro's Cuba; he was just three years old when Castro came to power in January 1959. After that, everything changed for his family and his country. When he was ten, his family applied for an exit visa to emigrate to America and he was ridiculed by his schoolmates and even his teachers for being a traitor to his country. But even worse, his father was sent to an agricultural reform camp to do hard labor as punishment for daring to want to leave Cuba. During the years to come, as he grew up in Glorytown, a neighborhood in the city of Cienfuegos, Eduardo hoped with all his might that their exit visa would be granted before he turned fifteen, the age at which he would be drafted into the army.

In this absorbing memoir, by turns humorous and heartbreaking, Eduardo Calcines recounts his boyhood and chronicles the conditions that led him to wish above all else to leave behind his beloved extended family and his home for a chance at a better future.

About the Author

EDUARDO F. CALCINES was born in Cuba in 1955 and immigrated to America at age fourteen. He is now a business owner, community activist, and news consultant. He lives in Tampa, Florida. Leaving Glorytown is his first book.

Praise For Leaving Glorytown

“Calcines’s spirited memoir captures the political tension, economic hardship, family stress, and personal anxiety of growing up during the early years of the Castro regime in Cuba.”—Starred, School Library Journal

“Engaging.” VOYA

“Calcines’ vibrant writing gives readers an intimate, front-porch view of his family . . . . will captivate readers and open a door to a subject seldom written about for teens.” —Booklist

“Calcines is particularly good at emphasizing the importance of family and at describing how young Eduardo navigates the complications of having close friends who remain loyal to the Communist party.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Calcines . . . nonetheless recalls being surrounded by loving adults who weathered adversity with a combination of strong character and unshakeable faith.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Leaving Glorytown will leave readers with unforgettable lessons about the struggles that people experienced under Fidel Castro's leadership and the opportunities that come with freedom." —Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

"One of the biggest reasons why I like this book is because it is not only the story of the Cuban Revolution, but it's also the story of an average kid dealing with frustration of growing up." —Kota, 13