ENCHANTED AIR by Margarita Engle
Kirkus Star

ENCHANTED AIR

Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

“It really is possible to feel / like two people / at the same time, / when your parents / grandparents / memories / words / come from two / different / worlds.”

Poet and novelist Engle has won a Newbery Honor, the Pura Belpré Award, and the Américas Award, among others. Of Cuban-American descent, she has mostly written about Cuba and Cuban history. This time she brings readers her own childhood. Employing free verse, she narrates growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and early ’60s torn by her love of two countries: the United States, where she was born and raised, and Cuba, where her mother was from and where she spent vacations visiting family. Woven into the fabric of her childhood is the anxiety of deteriorating relations between the two countries as the Cuban revolution takes place, affecting both her family and the two countries at large. This is also the time when Engle discovers books and her own poetry as safe places to retreat to. Though it is a very personal story, it is also one that touches on issues affecting so many immigrants, as when she wonders: “Is there any way that two people / from faraway places / can ever really / understand each other’s / daydreams?”

As so many of our children are immigrants or children of immigrants, we need more of these stories, especially when they are as beautifully told as this one. (Cold War timeline, author’s note) (Poetry/memoir. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4814-3522-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2015




BEST MIDDLE-GRADE NONFICTION OF 2015:

ChildrenTHE QUEEN'S SHADOW by Cybèle  Young
by Cybèle Young
ChildrenTHE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND by William Kamkwamba
by William Kamkwamba
ChildrenTHE OCTOPUS SCIENTISTS by Sy Montgomery
by Sy Montgomery

MORE BY MARGARITA ENGLE

ChildrenBRAVO! by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle
ChildrenLION ISLAND by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle
ChildrenORANGUTANKA by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle

MORE BY EDEL RODRIGUEZ

ChildrenISLAND TREASURES by Alma Flor Ada
by Alma Flor Ada
ChildrenTHE MYSTERY OF DARWIN'S FROG by Marty Crump
by Marty Crump
ChildrenROBOMOP by Sean Taylor
by Sean Taylor

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE RED UMBRELLA by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
ChildrenTHE CAT KING OF HAVANA by Tom Crosshill
by Tom Crosshill
ChildrenYES! WE ARE LATINOS! by Alma Flor Ada
by Alma Flor Ada
ChildrenBROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson
by Jacqueline Woodson