Mission Libertad
Mission Libertad

Item code 



Lantigua, Lizette M. 

Pauline Books & Media 



Available Formats:   EPUB  MOBI   Paperback

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Mission Libertad

About this Book:

Fact and fiction converge in this thrilling tale of 14-year old Luisito Ramirez-a courageous boy who daringly escapes from 1970s communist Cuba-as he becomes immersed in American culture, and sets out on fulfilling a secret religious mission under the eyes of spies.

Readers of realistic historical fiction, individuals interested in learning about Cuban culture and exile movements, teachers desiring multicultural resources, and individuals seeking stories that reflect faith values will find this book to be highly appealing.

Integrating Spanish vocabulary and Cuban culture, this novel offers young people ages 10 - 14 an exciting story of the Catholic faith lived out during turmoil. Based on real events, the historical, political, economical, and cultural realities of the time period are fused in the fictional story of Luisito. Author Lizette M. Lantigua achieves this fusion through combining her historical knowledge and experiences as a newspaper reporter interviewing Cuban exiles with her craft for storytelling.

The story opens with Luisito and his family aboard a raft as they escape under the cover of darkness to the United States. Leaving behind his grandmother until she can be safely transported to freedom, this escape to a better life is bittersweet. Luisito cannot help but think about her, especially because she entrusts him to carry out a secret mission when he arrives in the United States. She leaves him with a place to visit, a Biblical passage, and a person to deliver an obscure message to. Luisito must use his wit and courage to decode his grandmother's secret-all the while being followed and watched by Cuban spies!

Will Luisito fulfill his grandmother's mission, and will they be united in the land of freedom? Accompany Luisito on his Mission Libertad to find out!

Features & Benefits:

  • Written by a Cuban American author who has extensive reporting experience for young people ages 10 - 14
  • Provides an entertaining and educational story
  • Reflects Cuban faith, culture, and experience
  • Integrates Spanish vocabulary
  • Appeals to realistic fiction readers
  • Acknowledges the various exile movements of Cubans throughout history
  • Elaborates on the policies of Cuba and the United States


Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval (2013)

About the Author:

Lizette M. Lantigua was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Miami, Florida. Her parents were born in Cuba and exiled to the United States in 1961. As a newspaper reporter, writer, and Emmy-nominated television producer in southern Florida, Lizette has extensively covered the experiences of the Hispanic community. She also designs, illustrates, and licenses artwork through her company, Lantigua Designs. Lizette lives with her husband and three daughters in a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is her first novel for young people.

What Are People Saying about this Title?

"Mission Libertad serves up the frijoles y plátanos, turkey and stuffing, and everything in between that represents Cuban American culture. Abuela's thoughts, two Cuban spies, and an FBI agent enrich and contextualize Luisito's adventure and the Mariel Boatlift, and bring this book to life. ¡Viva¡"
- Nancy Osa, author of Cuba 15, an ALA Pura Belpré Author Honor Book

"Lizette Lantigua captures the family-centered whirlwind following Luisito's harrowing escape by sea from Cuba's communist regime. His mission to keep a promise to his beloved Abuela reveals love's powerful reach and puts him in directly under the care of Cuba's patroness, Our Lady of Charity. This tale of intrigue and growth in faith appeals to the adventurous spirit."
- Maria Johnson, producer, Catholic Weekend, Star Quest Production Network SQPN.com

Product Details:

Binding: Paperback
Trim size: 5 ¼" X 7 ¾"
Pages: 224

Teachers, below are our suggestions for accelerated reading tests. Kindly recommend Mission Libertad as an accelerated reader title to the Accelerated Reader Program that you use most.

Reading Level: Grades 6-10 (Ages 10-14) :

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level of Questions: 6.5

Questions for Accelerated Readers:

  • 1) How did Luisito and his family escape to America?

    a. They flew on a plane

    b. They floated from Cuba on a raft

    c. They drove in their car

    d. They walked

  • 2) Where did the Jemot family first go when they made it to the American shore?

    a. They went straight to the chapel in Miami

    b. They went home with their extended family

    c. They spent a few days in a refugee processing place

    d.They returned home to Cuba

  • 3) Why did Luisito and his family feel badly eating big meals in America?

    a. They remembered the people in Cuba who had barely enough to eat

    b. They believed they were asking too much of their extended family

    c. They got stomachaches from the new food

    d. They wanted even bigger meals

  • 4) Luis and his family were uncomfortable after shopping at the mall because _______

    a. They lost a shopping bag full of clothes

    b. They believed they saw two men following them

    c. They were not used to spending so much money

    d. They did not like any of the stores

  • 5) Why were Antonio and Jorge following Luis?

    a. They wanted to ask him about escaping Cuba

    b. They were impressed with his basketball skills

    c. They wanted to visit the chapel with him

    d. They were working for the Cuban government

  • 6) What did Luis' grandmother ask him to do?

    a. Visit a chapel in Miami and deliver a message to a priest

    b. Learn English quickly

    c. Become an altar server in America

    d. Help her escape Cuba

  • 7) Luis was concerned about Sherry and her family because _________

    a. He believed they had stopped going to church

    b. He was told that they didn't like Hispanic people

    c. He thought they were working for the Cuban government

    d. He wasn't sure if they had enough food to eat

  • 8) Who did Luis share his grandmother's secret with?

    a. No one

    b. His parents

    c. Sherry

    d. Tommy, Sonia, and his Aunt Rosie

  • 9) What item did Luis save from the Cuban agents?

    a. A holy rosary

    b. An antique bible

    c. A statue of Our Lady of Charity

    d. A rare painting of Jesus

  • 10) How did Abuela finally get to America?

    a. She snuck on a boat with her friend Mati

    b. Luis' family sent her a plane ticket

    c. The FBI snuck her out to thank Luis

    d. She hid on a truck

Keywords: junior high -Virgen de Caridad - JClub - Pauline Kids - Pauline Teen - Fcc12 - Faba12 - MenuTF ; SR16

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