Parents' Guide to

Tía Fortuna's New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Family memories ease the pain of moving in sweet tale.

book cover of Tia Fortuna's New Home

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This warm, beautifully illustrated story shows how an immigrant auntie keeps memories of home and family alive through food and storytelling. Tía Fortuna's New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey celebrates Sephardic Jewish and Cuban heritage, with many Spanish words and phrases woven into the story, along with some Yiddish, Arabic, Hebrew, and more. The helpful glossary at the back adds to kids' understanding. And an extensive author's note explains the history of Serphardic Jews who were driven out of Spain in 1492 and forced to find new homes in other countries, "but never forgot their Spanish ancestry." The after the Cuban revolution in 1959, Sephardic Jews who had moved to Cuba lost their jobs and migrated to Miami.

Author Ruth Behar reveals in her note, "I am a child of two Jewish civilizations -- Ashkenazi on my mother's side, inheriting powerful Yiddish traditions, and Sephardic on my father's side. ... Like Estrella, I picked up bits and pieces of a Sephardic heritage and was fascinated by by the resilience of the culture that was being passed on to me."

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