© 2024 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sundial: How this abuelo went from writing for scholars to writing for kids

Courtesy of Andy Garcia
“Lessons from Abuelo: History of Cuba” is a children's book written by Cuban-American scholar Andy Gomez.

Andy Gomez built a career trying to explain Cuba to adults.

He dedicated most of his life to it. At the University of Miami, he taught the history of the Cuban revolution. He taught classes about what life in Cuba might be like after Castro.

He co-founded the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. It was a way to preserve the history of the Cuban experience — before and after the revolution fractured it.

But one question from a specific person forced him to think differently about how to talk about Cuba.

It was one of his four grandsons who asked him: Abuelo, why did you leave Cuba?

That became the thesis, or rather, the heart of a new children’s book he’s written to address that question.

His new book, Lessons from Abuelo: History of Cuba, is more than a history of Cuba for kids. It’s a conversation starter. An outline of Cuban history. The book is meant to be a tool for parents and grandparents to tell their own stories to their grandchildren.

On the Feb. 1 episode of Sundial, we speak with Gomez to find out how he went from writing for scholars to writing for kids.

On Sundial's previous episode, we spoke with Mark Potter about his book Sunrise: A photographic journey of comfort and healing, which he dedicated to his wife after her death. We also talked about his career as a journalist in South Florida covering the stories that made Miami what it is today.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Stay in touch with us via text by joining our Sundial text club. Send us your thoughts, ideas or questions by texting the word “join” to 786-677-0767. You can also email us at sundial@wlrnnews.org

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.