I’m so excited to be a part of the book tour for The Bluest Sky that is hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. I was really excited to also be able to interview the author for this book!
How would you describe The Bluest Sky in one sentence?
A book about friendship, family, betrayal, and the consequences of our decisions.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of The Bluest Sky?
Héctor is a young Cuban boy who has dreams of representing his country in the International Math Olympics until he is forced to choose between his family and those dreams.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I always have a pretty good idea how my books will end, but I don’t know how my characters will get there. As I write their story, I discover their journey along the way.
What is something readers will find in The Bluest Sky that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
That there is a connection to my book, The Red Umbrella, which takes place twenty years before The Bluest Sky. The connection is that the main character’s best friend in The Red Umbrella (fourteen year old Ivette) is Héctor’s mom.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from The Bluest Sky?
That how you view something… a person or a place… is often colored by your experiences and frame of reference.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed The Bluest Sky?
We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Rescue by Jennifer Nielsen
ABOUT THE BOOK
A boy and his family must decide whether to remain in Cuba under a repressive government or risk everything for the chance of a new beginning in this gripping story from the award-winning author of The Red Umbrella.
There are two versions of Héctor: the public and the private. It’s the only way to survive in communist Cuba—especially when your father was exiled to the U.S. and labeled an enemy of the people. Héctor must always be seen as a fierce supporter of the regime, even if that means loudly rejecting the father he still loves.
But in the summer of 1980, those two versions are hard to keep separate. No longer able to suppress a public uprising, the Cuban government says it will open the port of Mariel to all who wish to leave the country—if they can find a boat. But choosing to leave comes with a price. Those who want to flee are denounced as traitors by family and friends. There are violent acts of repudiation, and no one knows if they will truly be allowed to leave the country or not.
So when Héctor’s mother announces that she wants the family to risk everything to go to the United States, he is torn. He misses his father, but Cuba is the only home he has ever known. All his dreams and plans require him to stay. Can he leave everything behind for an unknown future?
In a summer of heat and upheaval, danger and deadly consequences, Héctor’s two worlds are on a collision course. Will the impact destroy him and everything he loves?
Christina Diaz Gonzalez’s great-grandmother, great-uncle, and extended family came to the U.S. through the Mariel boatlift. She vividly remembers meeting them all for the first time in the summer of 1980 and is proud to share this part of her family’s history.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christina Diaz Gonzalez is the Edgar® award-winning author of several books including The Red Umbrella, A Thunderous Whisper, Moving Target, Concealed, and two upcoming books, Invisible (a graphic novel available in August 2022) and The Bluest Sky (a historical fiction novel available in September 2022). Her books have received numerous honors including the Florida Book Award, the Nebraska Book Award, and the International Latino Book Award. Her work has also been designated as an American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection, and as an International Reading Association’s Teachers’ Choice book. Christina currently lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, sons, and a dog that can open doors.