Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Season of Rebels and Roses

By Virginia Sánchez-Korrol

  • ISBN: 978-1-55885-865-7
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2018

  • Bind: Trade Paperback

  • Pages: 258

This engrossing novel for teens sheds light on the nineteenth-century independence movements of Puerto Rico and Cuba.

At an assembly of liberals in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1887, Inocencia Martínez eagerly looks for Sotero Figueroa, a journalist and independence movement activist whose politics—and handsome visage—she finds extremely exciting. She is so intent on keeping him in her sights that, when he stops to speak to someone, she almost runs right into him!

Inocencia, the daughter of a Spanish bureaucrat, was 18 when she first heard Figueroa speak about freedom from colonial repression and an independent Puerto Rico. Hearing the speakers at the assembly fueled her dreams of becoming a leader in the movement.

Inocencia’s parents are initially horrified that a mulatto, someone of African descent, wants to court their daughter. Ultimately, just before the couple’s seditious activities force them into exile, her parents give approval for their marriage. While living in New York City, Inocencia starts her own women’s group to aid the revolutionaries.

Ranging from Puerto Rico to Cuba and the United States, this engaging novel for teens follows historical figures that were instrumental in the fight for self-determination in Puerto Rico. Addressing issues that remain relevant today—racism, women’s rights and Puerto Rico’s status—The Season of Rebels and Roses also sheds light on women’s involvement in their nations’ liberation—and their own.

VIRGINIA SÁNCHEZ-KORROL is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is the author of several works including From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City and Feminist and Abolitionist: The Story of Emilia Casanova. Sánchez-Korrol advises on Puerto Rican and Latino/a history for museums and the media and writes a blog for The Huffington Post.

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