Books by Margarita Engle

SILVER PEOPLE by Margarita Engle
Released: March 25, 2014

"Engle's new offering contains moments of true poetic beauty, but these choices detract from an otherwise lovely, enlightening book. (author's note, selected bibliography) (Historical fiction/verse. 10-14)"
A poetic exploration of the construction of the Panama Canal. Read full book review >
TINY RABBIT'S BIG WISH by Margarita Engle
Released: March 4, 2014

"Tiny Rabbit should be introduced to David Kirk's Oh So Tiny Bunny (2013), which also successfully explores the same theme. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Like lots of children and lots of picture-book characters, tiny rabbit wants to be big. Very big. Read full book review >
MOUNTAIN DOG by Margarita Engle
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Poignant and memorable. (author's note) (Verse fiction. 8-12)"
An absorbing story of an 11-year-old boy from Los Angeles who, when his mother is incarcerated for organizing pit-bull dogfights, moves in with his forest-ranger great-uncle and his chocolate Lab in their remote cabin high in the Sierra Nevadas. Read full book review >
WHEN YOU WANDER by Margarita Engle
Released: April 30, 2013

"A sensible safety lesson and a satisfying story. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-8)"
A charismatic golden retriever narrates this earnest story about finding a toddler who wanders away into the woods. Read full book review >
LIGHTNING DREAMER by Margarita Engle
Released: March 19, 2013

"Fiery and engaging, a powerful portrait of the liberating power of art. (historical note, translated excerpts from Avellaneda's work, bibliography) (Historical fiction/verse. 12 & up)"
An inspiring fictionalized verse biography of one of Cuba's most influential writers. Read full book review >
THE WILD BOOK by Margarita Engle
Released: March 20, 2012

"A beautiful tale of perseverance. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
A young girl tackles a learning disability and the uncertainty of daily life in early-20th-century Cuba. Read full book review >
HURRICANE DANCERS by Margarita Engle
Released: March 15, 2011

"Taken individually the stories are slight, but they work together elegantly; the notes and back matter make this a great choice for classroom use. (bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Newbery Honor author Engle (The Surrender Tree, 2008) spins three intertwined tales in frequently lyrical free verse. Read full book review >
SUMMER BIRDS by Margarita Engle
Released: April 27, 2010

"They, too, will imagine themselves growing up to follow their dreams. (historical note) (Picture book/biography. 4-9)"
It's not often that someone is born both a great scientist and a great artist, especially if that someone is a girl in the middle of the 17th century. Read full book review >
THE FIREFLY LETTERS by Margarita Engle
Released: March 1, 2010

"Another fine volume by a master of the novel in verse. (historical note, author's note) (Historical fiction. 10 & up)"
Three women, their lives circumscribed by their societies' expectations, come together in Cuba in 1851. Read full book review >
TROPICAL SECRETS by Margarita Engle
Released: March 1, 2009

"Stylistically, however, the manipulation of characters and their fictional conflicts seem, in this latest addition, formulaic. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Readers familiar with the author's prior works (The Poet Slave of Cuba, 2006, etc.) will recognize both style and themes in this verse novel set in World War II–era Cuba. Read full book review >
THE SURRENDER TREE by Margarita Engle
Released: April 1, 2008

"Young readers will come away inspired by these portraits of courageous ordinary people. (author's note, historical note, chronology, references) (Fiction/poetry. 12+)"
Tales of political dissent can prove, at times, to be challenging reads for youngsters, but this fictionalized version of the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain may act as an entry to the form. Read full book review >
THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA by Margarita Engle
Released: April 1, 2006

"Simple charcoal drawings accompany the text and capture its emotional and geographical atmosphere. (Biography. 10-14)"
A work born out of love for the man and his poetry, this biography-in-verse pays tribute to Juan Francisco Manzano, who lived between 1797 and 1853. Read full book review >
SKYWRITING by Margarita Engle
Released: July 1, 1995

"A remarkable work—and significant contribution—that seeks to understand the ravages wrought by oppressors past and present."
 From poet and novelist Engle (Singing at Cuba, 1993, not reviewed): another lyrical and joyous affirmation of the human spirit's ability to subvert and survive—this one as much a history of Cuba as of one family's long fight for justice. ``The heart of the island,'' the story's young narrator asserts, ``is a magnet, enormous and powerful, pulling me back through time and space, pulling me in and down, swirling [in] the eye of the hurricane.'' And, in 1993, when Carmen Peregr°n visits Cuba and meets half-brother Camilo for the first time, she irrevocably enters the eye of that hurricane. Read full book review >