"It's 1968 and Luba Vovkovych is determined to join the world of real American college students. In Chicago, where she lives, this involves a look as well as a philosophy of protest. Luba grows her hair, buys a white lipstick, burns her bras, and carries her books in an Army surplus knapsack." "At her local college, she registers as Linda Vovkovych. And she invests in an ancient black Plymouth Valiant to carry her into a future far from her parents' home in Chicago's Ukrainian ghetto." "Her plans are undone by her own ambivalence. She can't quite turn her back on the family or the old neighborhood. Her nearly blind father needs rides to the doctor. Old Uncle Dutko, who lost his wife, needs a live-in sitter. The Saint Yosafat Ladies Auxiliary needs a chauffeur for the visiting widow of the greatest Ukranian nationalist poet since Shevchenko. Her friend, Pavlo, needs a nude model. It's not for nothing her mother named her Luba - Ukrainian for charity." "So Linda takes a backseat in the Valiant and Luba takes the wheel, headed to a new destination - somewhere between Ukraine and America."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Luba lives with her parents in a Chicago neighborhood full of others like themselves-immigrants from Ukraine. Her parents want only two things: to enjoy a new life in America and to hold on to the old ways-the church, the language, the traditions-of Ukrainian culture. They want these things for Luba, too.

Luba wants only the first part of their wish. She wants to leave her neighborhood-not to mention Ukraine-behind. It's 1968, and protesting American students have taken to the city streets. Thinking that it's time she breaks step with her heritage and gets into step with her peers, Luba registers as Linda on the first day at her commuter college. Then she buys a second-hand car to drive into a future far from her parent's Wheat Street home.

The car must, however, first carry her father to his doctor's appointments, a Ukrainian celebrity to her featured appearances, a dying neighbor home from work, and her lifelong buddies to school and back. Somewhere along the way, Linda takes a backseat and Luba takes the wheel, finding a new road to a destination somewhere between Ukraine and America.

In WHEN LUBA LEAVES HOME, award-winning author Irene Zabytko creates a bright new voice to tell the classic story of how the children of America's melting pot grow up strong enough to carry their double identities.