Book Reviews

“In the children’s book, Orqui and Starr: How Two Little Girls from Cuba Come to America, the young sisters live a happy life on a beautiful island. But soon, living in paradise, Havana changes drastically after the Cuban Revolution uprising in 1959. At a tender young age, Orqui (which means orchid in Spanish) and her sister can no longer frolic in the capital city as the State-controlled government grips its citizens. Orqui and Starr are left in the loving care of family members when they become separated from their mother and father. The Perez family vows to sacrifice anything and everything to give their daughters a better future.

Maggie Orquidea (Orqui) Garcia-Schubert shares her delicate experience of her childhood and that of her sister in this moving tale of emigration to the United States of America. While the book recounts hardships and fears, the reader is uplifted as her story reblooms and thrives when a Cuban orchid is replanted in America. Garcia-Schubert’s book is a heartwarming immigration tale of hope and resilience.”

Michelle McNiff (Author of Pedro Pan: One Boy's Journey to America)

I purchased this book for my grandchildren. As an immigrant to the United States from Cuba in 1962, I want my grandchildren to always know their ancestry, what occurred to bring their grandparents to this great Country and how to be appreciative of their families struggles and achievements. This book, written exquisitely, depicts just that. Thank you Maggie Garcia-Schubert for telling us your family’s story that will help bring this important piece of family history to our children. The book is beautiful.

Amazon Customer

“A beautifully written and illustrated story of the bittersweet journey of Orqui and Starr and how they defined courage, belief, and the power of family bonds. Looking through the characters’ eyes, readers are given a glimpse of the struggles their parents and grandparents went through to fight for and protect their country, ultimately finding hope and freedom. It is sweetly written and poignant. I highly recommend this book. Kudos to the author.”

Susy K.

“Maggie, thank you for sharing your amazing story so beautifully in this children’s book. It made me laugh, cry and feel like I was right there with you. The vibrant colors and images you choose are truly representative of our beautiful country.”

Mark S.

This book brought back stories long forgotten and tears to my eyes. It is a beautiful story of two sisters, and their journey to America. I highly recommend it.

Hilda C.

This book is brightly colored with clean lined drawings that capture the colors of Cuba in a subtle nod to heritage. The story is told from the perspective of the author as a child. The quips and memories are childlike, matter of fact, and concise. It’s easy to connect to the story. My kids had questions and my kids giggled and pointed to pictures. Not only is this a great teaching tool, but a keeper of history and a great lesson in tenacity, family, and doing the right thing. Even in difficult seasons there is joy and bright moments-especially when you’re with one’s you love.


“The book was amazing. I really loved it. Being a person of Cuban ancestry, it really made me feel happy that now kids around the world can learn about Cuba. This book reminds me of all the stories that my grandparents have told me about their immigration. I think it is definitely a must have.”

Jack J. (11 yrs old)

I loved the truth of this story as told from a child’s perspective. Even though it is a hard reality, it is truth told in a way children can learn and be thankful for their own lives and the lives of their immigrant friends. What could be more relevant in times like this? The story teaches compassion and love for others, courage and victory, and family strength, even amidst pain, separation and struggles. Born and raised in Miami, it brings back many memories and I am so thankful for the Cuban people who raised us all up to new levels. We should be grateful to our God and this great country. I encourage you to read this to your children and grandchildren. Thank you Maggie Orqui.

Connie G.

A touching story that tells the story of two little girls who were uprooted from their country & families. It shows bravery, resilience and love. Like many immigrant families, they learned the ways of their new country and made it home. I hope this is only the beginning of Maggie’s writing of books.

Christine S.

“This is a story of two sisters enjoying life in their native country and abruptly brought to a strange land, speaking a new language and discovering new costumes. What a ride! It’s scary and endearing, frightening men and exciting airplane ride. A new favorite of mine along with Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the places you’ll go!”. A must read for every immigrant to understand this strange new world through their child’s eyes and non-immigrant to better understand their world through a child’s view. Excellent!”

Alina I.

Congratulations Maggie on telling your beautiful and heartfelt story. The colorful illustrations bring it to life and the story is written simply and lovingly for children to understand. What a splendorous way to honor your parents and all the other parents (like mine), who left their beloved Cuba with nothing for a new life in this great country we now call home. Kudos to you!

Vivian S.

This is a wonderful real life story of a family that survived immigration to America. Beautifully written for children to understand and appreciate our country.

Sharon S.

The story of how a child and her family struggled to leave Cuba after the Castro revolution and make a new life in the US is told from a child’s perspective with warmth and simplicity. It is a familiar story for all refugees who arrive in the US, seeking freedom and struggling to make a fresh start.

Susana R.

Beautiful and heartfelt book written thoughtfully about a childhood that was upended by the Revolution and the power of family, love, and freedom. Highly recommend!