Books 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
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
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 >
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
POETRY
Released: March 15, 2011

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
ANIMALS
Released: April 27, 2010

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 >

POETRY
Released: March 1, 2010

Three women, their lives circumscribed by their societies' expectations, come together in Cuba in 1851. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: March 1, 2009

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 >

POETRY
Released: April 1, 2008

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 >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 1, 2006

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

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 >