86 pages 2 hours read

Enrique Flores-Galbis

90 Miles to Havana

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2010

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Chapters 1-8Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “Big Fish”

In Chapter 1, we meet Julian, a young Cuban boy, fishing with his family on the coast of Havana. Also on the fishing boat are family friend Bebo, his neighbor Angelita, Julian's older brothers Gordo and Alquilino, and Julian's father, whom he calls “Papi.” It is New Year's Eve, and Julian's family have a tradition that if they catch a big fish, they will have good luck every day of the new year. The rest of their family and their neighbors usually meet them at the dock to celebrate the catch, and they have a feast on the boat.

Today, Papi has not caught anything yet and is falling asleep in what Julian calls the "fighting chair," which is an old barber chair where his father does the fishing. Julian asks to take a turn on the chair, claiming he is old and smart enough to catch the big fish. His father hesitates, but Julian convinces him by revealing that he overheard Papi say “everything is changing and this could be our last fishing trip” (3). His father relents and lets Julian take his place in the chair.

His father is not optimistic about making a catch, but Julian assures him that he will.

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By Enrique Flores-Galbis