Storytime at Adventure

Pedro Pan, One Boy’s Journey to America

With Michelle McNiff
June 6, 2021

Based on historic events, follow the story of a 12-year-old boy’s journey from Cuba to the United States in a secret operation of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children who took freedom flights to escape oppression and tyranny.

Pedro Pan is a story of country, culture, and the resilience of an immigrant boy and his family. Ringing in the New Year in 1959, Pedro Infante observes history unfolding as change slowly sweeps through Havana. At the noble sacrifice of his parents in 1961, Pedro and Pepe (his pet lizard) board an airplane from the city of Havana to a rural farm in Iowa. The vivid imagination of one boy, flying away like Peter Pan with the loving care of a farmer and his wife, he learns English and takes on new chores, meeting a dairy cow, Bella Lou; Tucker, the prized pig; the old barn owl; and the farmer’s scarecrow. Will he return to Cuba one day? Will he ever reunite with his family again?

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Meet the Author

Michelle McNiff

Michelle McNiff is a novelist and journalist whose work has published in fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of Striker King of Rome and The Piano Lady with various works in progress.

Michelle wrote Pedro Pan, One Boy’s Journey to America after interviewing Monsignor Walsh, the leading force behind the Pedro Pan Operation, which sent some 15,000 children to the United States of America. The book is dedicated to her Cuban-American relatives and Hispanic culture, and to all the “Pedro Pans” who took freedom flights to America.

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