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Margarita Engle


Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American writer and the winner of the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino. Her award winning young adult novels in verse include THE SURRENDER TREE, THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA, TROPICAL SECRETS and THE FIREFLY LETTERS. THE LIGHTNING DREAMER, one of her most recent books, was a 2014 ALA Pura Belpré Author Honor Book.

Margarita's upcoming book, SILVER PEOPLE, VOICES FROM THE PANAMA CANAL, will be released in 2014.

She lives in central California, where she enjoys helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.

Margarita Engle

Books by Margarita Engle

by Margarita Engle - Biography, Poetry, Romance, Young Adult 12+

Margarita Engle’s childhood straddled two worlds: the lush, welcoming island of Cuba and the lonely, dream-soaked reality of Los Angeles. But the revolution has transformed Cuba into a mystery of impossibility, no longer reachable in real life. Margarita longs to travel the world, yet before she can become independent, she’ll have to start high school. Then the shock waves of war reach America, rippling Margarita’s plans in their wake. Cast into uncertainty, she must grapple with the philosophies of peace, civil rights, freedom of expression and environmental protection. 

by Margarita Engle - Biography, Fiction, Free Verse, Historical Fiction, History, Poetry, Women's History, Young Adult 14+
When Fredrika Bremer asked the Swedish Consulate to find her a quiet home in the Cuban countryside, she expected a rustic thatched hut, not this luxurious mansion in Matanzas, where Elena, the daughter of the house, can barely step foot outside. The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika sets off to learn about the people of this magical island, she is accompanied by Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her lost home in Africa. Soon Elena sneaks out of the house to join them. 
written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez - Culture, Literary, Nonfiction

In this poetic memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

by Margarita Engle - Family Life, Historical Fiction, History, Poetry

From the young "silver people" whose back-breaking labor built the Canal to the denizens of the endangered rainforest itself, this is the story of one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, as only Newbery Honor-winning author Margarita Engle could tell it.

by Margarita Engle - Biography, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Poetry

Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist.

by Margarita Engle

Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. But when a hurricane sinks the ship he’s been living on, killing most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.