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Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American 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.

Engle's most recent books are Silver People, Voices From the Panama Canal and a picture book, Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish. Both books were 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.

Photo © Marshall W. Johnson


Upcoming Appearances

Join Margarita at these events:

  • November 1, 2014
    Margarita will be one of the authors featured at the Clovis Book Barn's Picture Book Festival.
  • February 5, 2015
    Margarita will be on the Award Winning Latino Author panel at the California State Library Association Centennial, in San Francisco, CA
  • April 2015
    Margarita will be speaking on international aspects of censorship at the Arne Nixon Center's Outlawed Conference, in Fresno, CA
  • April 2016
    Margarita has been invited to speak at the Virginia Hamilton Conference at Kent State University

Don't Miss...

Upcoming Books (March and April 2015)

Orangutanka Cover Drum Dream Girl Cover

March 2015                                    April 2015

The Sky Painter Cover Enchanted Air Cover

April 2015                                     August 2015

Book Trailers and Videos

Margarita's video interview for Mountain Dog as a finalist for the Texas Bluebonnet Award (Cinematographer: Marshall W. Johnson)

The official book trailer for Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish

The official book trailer for Mountain Dog

Follow this link to hear Margarita sharing some of the backstory for The Wild Book.

More of Margarita's video interview with Colorín Colorado at their website.

Margarita's appearance at the at the 2010 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

November 22, 2014

Paperback edition of The Lightning Dreamer will be released by Harcourt in Fall 2015.

October 15, 2014

Margarita Skyped with Woodstock School in Georgia, where Mountain Dog is a finalist for the Peach award.

September 13, 2014

  • Mountain Dog received the first Americas Latino Book Award at the Americas Latino Ecos-Festival, in Denver, CO. This is a new award that recognize literature that reconnects children to nature.
  • Silver People was listed on the ABC BestBooks for Chilidren, from the American Booksellers Association (ABA)
  • The Lightning Dreamer is a 2015-2016 Nebraska Golden Sower List nominee

August 28, 2014

Margarita is named the winner of the 2014 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult/Children's Literature category for her book, The Lightning Dreamer

July 17, 2014

New video of Margarita from The University of Arizona's Poetry Center, as part of their Spring Reading Series.

Rave review of Silver People from Christian Science Monitor

July 10, 2014

Margarita will receive the Las Primeras Award for Arts and Literature, on July 24, in Washington, D.C., at the MANA conference and gala. The Las Primeras Awards are given in recognition of Latina "firsts." She's receiving it in recognition of The Surrender Tree's Newbery Honor, the first ever awarded to a Latina author.

June 13, 2014

Listen to Margarita's interview with Sarah L'Estrange from Australia's ABC radio network on Silver People.

June 6, 2014

Reviews and Honors:

June 2, 2014

Margarita guest post at Latinos In KidLit on her passion for writing about hope and forgotten heroes.

May 20, 2014

Three of Margarita's books received honors from International Latino Book Award 2014:

  • The Wild Book - Most Inspirational Young Adult Book (Second Prize)
  • The Lightning Dreamer - Best Young Adult Fiction Book, English (Honorable Mention)
  • Mountain Dog - Honorable Mention Best Youth Chapter Fiction Book, English (Honorable Mention)

Margarita's video lecture on poetry as vehicle of exploration is available on The University of Arizona's Poetry Center website.

May 19, 2014

The Lightning Dreamer is a 2014 NCTE Notable Book for the Language Arts.

Mountain Dog is on the School Library Journal Cultural Diversity Reading List and awarded the Roary Award by students of the Newbery Club at Mt. Kisco Elementary School in New York.
The paperback edition of Mountain Dog will be a selection at Scholastic Book Fairs.

May 16, 2014

Margarita Skyped with a Writing for Teachers class at James Madison University, on May 16.

On May 14, Margarita Skyped with students from the Mt. Kisco Elementary School Newbery Club, during their annual banquet

March 29, 2014

Silver People will be published in Australia by the University of Queensland Press. Check out the beautiful cover!

March 17, 2014

Mountain Dog, The Wild Boook and The Lightning Dreamer are selected as finalists for the International Latino Book Awards. The award ceremony will be at the Clark County Library in Las Vegas, on June 28.

March 6, 2014

Mountain Dog has been named a 2014 -2015 Georgia Book Award Nominee.

February 9, 2014

Margarita is profiled as one of the poets on Sylvia Vardell's new book, Poetry Aloud Here: Sharing Poetry with Children.

February 6, 2014

The Lightning Dreamer was selected as 2014 Pura Belpré Honor Book.

Margarita was inverviewed by Patricia Newman of California Kids. Follow this link to read the full article.

January 16, 2014

Check out the February 15 issue of Booklist for a starred review of Silver People from Michael Cart.

Lightning Dreamer has been selected for new honors such as International Reading Association Top Chapter Book for 2013 and ALSC Notable Children's Book for 2013. See more on this honor list.

January 6, 2014

Great review of Moutain Dog on Librarian's Quest.

Wonderful reviews of Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish on Publisher's Weekly and School Library Journal.

January 2, 2014

The Lightning Dreamer has been chosen as one of the Best 15 Latino Children's Books of 2013.

Follow the link to read Margarita's guest blog on courage for CrazyQuiltEdi, a blog to promote literacy for teens of color.

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