an image

an image

an image

an image

an image

Coming Soon

March 2017

August 2017

August 2017

October 2017

Now Available


Margarita Headshot

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many verse books, including a Newbery Honor winner, The Surrender Tree, a PEN USA Award winner, The Lightning Dreamer, and a verse memoir, Enchanted Air, winner of many awards, including an inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, the inaugural Arnold Adoff Teen Poetry Award, and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Margarita’s books have also received three Pura Belpré Awards and four Américas Awards, as well as a Jane Addams Award, International Reading Association Award, and Claudia Lewis Poetry Award. Books for younger children include Mountain Dog, Summer Birds, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award winning picture book, Drum Dream Girl.

Margarita grew up in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during summers with her extended family in Cuba. She was trained as a botanist and agronomist before becoming a full-time poet and novelist. She lives in Central California, where she enjoys hiding in the wilderness to help train her husband’s search and rescue dog.

Photo © Marshall W. Johnson

Upcoming Appearances

Join Margarita at these events:

  • April 19-22, 2017
    Margarita will be speaking and signing at the Texas Library Association Conference, in San Antonio, Texas.
  • April 29, 2017
    Margarita will be signing her books at Petunia's Place Bookstore in Fresno, California.
  • May 6, 2017
    Margarita will be at the Picture Book Panel at A Book Barn Bookstore in Clovis, California.
  • September 8-9, 2017
    Margarita will be at the The Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, in North Carolina.
  • September 11-15, 2017
    Multi-state book tour for All the Way to Havana, with illustrator Mike Curato.
  • October, 2017
    Margarita will be participating in a poetry panel at the USBBY Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Don't Miss...

The Spanish Scholastic Book Club edition of Drum Dream Girl

The Spanish Scholastic Book Club edition of Drum Dream Girl is now available

Paperback edition of Silver People

Paperback edition of Silver People is now available in bookstores!


April 17, 2017

Margarita, along with 29 other poets, are featured on Bookology's Poetry Mosaic which feature audio reading of a new poem for every day in April.

Coming soon... Spanish language edition for Lion Island, Forest World, and Miguel's Brave Knight.

Recent reviews for Margarita's books:

  • Bravo: Poems about Amazing Hispanics, was featured in the New York Times Book Review. Follow this link to see more honors for this book.
  • Enchanted Air, is on the William Allen White Kansas Award Master List. Follow this link to see more honors for this book.
  • Lion Island, is a CCBC Choice book. Follow this link to see more honors for this book.
  • Drum Dream Girl, is on the NYPL list of Yo Soy Latina Recommended Reads. Follow this link to see more honors for this book.

  • March 15, 2017

    Official cover of Forest World, a new middle grade novel in verse by Margarita with art by Joe Cepeda. It tells the story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time—and meets a sister he didn’t know he had.

    This book is scheduled to be published in August 2017.

    February 6, 2017

    Cover reveal for Margarita's new book Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote with illustration by Raúl Colón, on School Library Journal's A Fuse 8 Production. This book is scheduled to be released in October 2017.

    January 24, 2017

    Drum Dream Girl won the Carnegie Medal for best children's video. The video was produced by Ryan Swenar of Dreamscape Media, LLC.

    January 20, 2017

    Read Margarita's new essay When Bilingual Book Dreams Come True posted on Nerdy Book Club, about her bilingual books publishing journey. .

    January 14, 2017

    Margarita's new book, Bravo! Poems about Amazing Hispanics, will be realeased in English and Spanish edition on March 2017. The book has received a starred review from School Library Journal.

    December 5, 2016

    Margarita wrote an article for Bridges to/from Cuba on 'her passion and motivation for writing about history’s unsung heroes and forgotten poets who’ve struggled for change through non-violence in often hopeless situations'.

    November 15, 2016

    Save the date for January 25, 2017 release of Morning Star Horse. This book will be published in three versions for English, Spanish, and bilingual English/Spanish by HBE Publishing.

    October 15, 2016

    The Spanish Scholastic Book Club edition of Drum Dream Girl, is now available. A Scholastic Book Club edition of The Sky Painter is pending publication.

    Vamos a Leer created a bilingual teaching guide for the dual language edition of The Surrender Tree/El árbol de la Rendición that can be used for teachers/classroom.

    Margarita has been appointed to the Advisory Board of Anansesem, the Journal of Caribbean Children’s Literature.

    September 23, 2016

    New curriculum guide for Lion Island, can be downloaded for teachers/classroom use.

    September 3, 2016

    Official cover for Margarita's new picture, All The Way to Havana, to be published in August 2017. Click on the image for close-up view.

    July 8, 2016

    Lion Island received a wonderful review from Booklist. Read it here.

    June 28, 2016

    Margarita has been selected as one of the Juror for the 2017 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature (World Literature Today).

    June 1, 2016

    Lion Island is a School Library Journal's June 2016 Starred Review.

    April 25, 2016

    The Lightning Dreamer is honored as one of the books in the 20 Years of Día Booklist, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Día.
    Drum Dream Girl and Silver People are also honored as one of the books in the Building STEAM with Día 2016 Booklist, that identify promising resources to supplement (S)cience, (T)echnology, (E)ngineering, the (A)rts, and (M)ath programming while reflecting a variety of cultures and languages.

    Margarita will be serving as Juror for the 2017 NSK Neustadt Prize, the Judge for YARN's Young Adult Enchanted Places and Spaces Poetry Contest, and the first We Need Diverse Books Middle Grade mentor.

    April 10, 2016

    Margarita was at the Charlotte Zolotow Award ceremony on April, at University of Wisconsin, in Madison.

    Margarita was a speaker at the Virginia Hamilton Conference on April 7-8, at Kent State University, in Ohio

    March 19, 2016

    Margarita was at the Walter Award ceremony on March 18, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

    March 17, 2016

    Enchanted Air won the Golden Kite Award for non-fiction books.
    This award will be presented at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles on July 29-31.

    March 4, 2016

    Foreign language translations for Drum Dream Girl will be comin soon in Chinese (CITIC Press) and Spanish (Scholastic Book Club edition).

    Dreamscape Audio/Video of Drum Dream Girl is available for classroom use.

    January 26, 2016

    Awards and Honors:

    • Enchanted Air won the 2016 Pura Belpré Award for text. It will be presented at ALA in Orlando on June 26, 1-4 PM, during the 20th Anniversary Pura Belpré Celebración.
    • Enchanted Air was selected as YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist
    • Enchanted Air won a Walter Award Honor from We Need Diverse Books. It will be presented at the Library of Congress on March 18.
    • Drum Dream Girl won the Pura Belpré Award for illustration. Congratulations to Rafael López!
    • Drum Dream Girl won the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book writing of 2015. It will be presented at the University of Madison, Wisconsin, on April 9.
    • Drum Dream Girl was selected as Asian Pacific American Library Association Children's Book Awards Honor
    • Drum Dream Girl is an Amelia Bloomer Top 10 of 2016
    • Drum Dream Girl is a 2016 Notable Book for a Global Society, International Literacy Association

    November 8, 2015

    Recent wonderful reviews for Enchanted Air:

    October 30, 2015

    Enchanted Air has been given the 2015 Eureka! Gold Awards book by the California Reading Association.

    October 26, 2015

    Margarita contributed on a blog article at Latin@s in Kid Lit, on About that Embargo.

    The 2015 Cybils Award nominees includes four of Margarita's books, Enchanted Air, Drum Dream Girl, The Sky Painter, and Orangutanka.

    October 4, 2015

    The Kindle edition of The Sky Painter is included in the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! program. It is a reading program set up by teachers in classrooms to motivate children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza.

    Click here to read previous news