? Margarita Engle - Home


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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, and The Lightning Dreamer, winner of the PEN USA Award.

Engle's most recent books are Orangutanka, Drum Dream Girl, The Sky Painter, and Enchanted Air. All of these books are to be released in 2015.

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:

  • April 10-12, 2015
    Margarita will be speaking on international aspects of censorship at the Arne Nixon Center's Outlawed Conference, in Fresno, CA
  • April 20 - May 1, 2015
    The Sky Painter blog tour!
  • May 6, 2015
    Margarita has been invited to participate at the Fresno Young Authors' Faire.
  • May 16, 2015
    Margarita will be signing her new picture books, Orangutanka, Drum Dream Girl, and The Sky Painter, at the Petunia's Place Bookstore, in Fresno, CA.
  • May 19, 2015
    Margarita will be speaking to Soroptomists International at A Book Barn, in Clovis, CA.
  • May 28-29, 2015
    Margarita will be signing her books at the Copperfield's Bookstore, in Napa and Petaluma, CA.
  • April 2016
    Margarita has been invited to speak at the Virginia Hamilton Conference at Kent State University

Don't Miss...

Upcoming Books (2015)

The Sky Painter Cover Enchanted Air Cover

April 2015                                     August 2015

Orangutanka Cover Drum Dream Girl Cover

March 2015                                    March 2015

2015 Blog tour schedule for The Sky Painter

  • April 20 @ Library Fanatic
  • April 21 @ Kid Lit Frenzy
  • April 22 @ Unleashing Readers
  • April 23 @ 5 Minutes for Books
  • April 24 @ Teach Mentor Texts
  • April 25 @ Booking Mama
  • April 27 @ Sharpread
  • April 28 @ The Children's Book Review
  • April 29 @ Cracking The Cover
  • April 30 @ A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
  • May 1 @ Archimedes Notebook
  • Book Trailers and Videos

    Book trailer for The Sky Painter by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Aliona Bereghici

    Download The Sky Painter activity kit

    Book trailer for Orangutanka by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Renee Kurilla

    Book trailer for Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López

    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

    April 18, 2015

    Enchanted Air has received an early starred review from Kirkus Book Review!

    The Sky Painter was selected as one of Teaching For Change's recommended book

    April 13, 2015

    Read Kirkus' feature article on Drum Dream Girl and women's right, with the book's author, Margarita Engle, and illustrator, Rafael López.

    More Drum Dream Girl News!

    March 21, 2015

    Margarita's book,Silver People, has been honored as one of the 2015 Best Children's Books of the Year from Bank Street Center for Children's Literature and NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts.

    March 18, 2015

    Drum Dream Girl are featured as one of the Children's Book Council Hot Off the Press List for March 2015 and Cooperative Children's Book Center's Recomended Book of the Week.

    Margarita's poems are featured on recently released books, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations and Been There, Done That: Writing Stories from Real Life.

    February 18, 2015

    Margarita was on the Award Winning Latino Author panel at the California School Library Association Centennial, in San Francisco, on February 5.

    Review of Margarita's picture book, The Sky Painter from De Colores website.

    Review of Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish from Wonders in the Dark website.

    Drum Dream Girl, one of Margarita's new books for 2015, received a starred review on the January issue of School Library Journal

    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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