Celeste is heartbroken when her grandmother dies. But everything changes when a letter mysteriously comes in the mail—from Grandma! As letters continue to arrive from the beyond, each with a recipe of a favorite food her grandmother used to prepare, Celeste consoles herself by learning how to cook the dishes.
Meanwhile, without Grandma’s Social Security check Mami needs to get a second job to make ends meet. Celeste has to quit dance lessons, and a bully at school gloats that she will replace Celeste as the star in the upcoming recital. To top things off, her friends think that she has gone crazy . . . dead people can’t send letters!
Soon Celeste realizes that all the recipes combined make an entire meal: café con leche, guava and cheese croissants, congrí, plantain chips, ropa vieja and flan. Can she really make a Cuban feast to celebrate her cherished grandmother’s life?
Published in bilingual "flip" format by Arte Público Press, this middle-grade novel celebrates the cultural traditions of the Spanish Caribbean while tackling challenging subjects, such as trouble with friends and the death of a grandparent. The book includes six traditional Cuban recipes with easy-to-follow instructions.
“A tender depiction of a child’s acceptance of the death of a beloved grandmother and the cultural importance of traditional foods.”
“This delightful novel is a Like Water for Chocolate for young readers. Celeste rises out of her grief by replacing her sadness with el sabor of life, by living as her grandmother did, with love and flavor."
— Judith Ortiz Cofer, author of Call Me María
“Add one girl who misses her abuelita to a handful of coveted Cuban recipes, stir in a pinch of magic and you get a heartening tale of love, loss and the healing power of family and friendship.”
—Laura Lacámara, author of Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia
“A poignant and uplifting story about the special bond only a grandmother and a granddaughter can share. Delicious and magical!”
—Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us
Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo
by Lydia Gil
For children ages 8-12
Available now from Piñata Books, Arte Público Press