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.
Margarita's upcoming book,Silver People, Voices From the Panama Canal will be published in Australia and New Zealand by the University of Queensland Press, along with U.S. publication by Harcourt, in 2014.
Both Hurricane Dancers and The Wild Book will be available in paperback in Fall 2013.
Margarita has joined the community of friends of the Foundation Cuatrogatos. Her book, The Surrender Tree, is included among the 50 books for children and young people by Latin authors titled "De raíces y sueños", by Cuatrogatos and the CEPLI of the University of Castilla - La Mancha.
Margarita has also joined Authors For Earth Day. The organization provide assistance to teachers to host authors for an Earth Day school visit.
This is the beautiful new Korean (Borim Press) edition of Tropical Secrets. The cover is wonderfully redesigned while keeping the original artwork. It's great to see how far a book can travel!
Margarita spoke to children at a North Fresno Church youth group about wilderness search and rescue dogs, and introduced her new book, Mountain Dog.
Check out Margarita's interview on her book When You Wander at Annemarie O'Brien's blog, Dog Reads, a blog that features interviews with authors who’ve written stories for kids with a key canine character.
During the first week of July, Margarita served as a guest author for the University of Wisconsin's online course, Using Children's Literature to Explore Latin American/Latino Cultural Heritage. The Poet Slave of Cuba was the focus of class discussions.
Click here to read Kirkus Reviews of Margarita's new picture book,When You Wander.
April 24, 2013
Margarita's The Wild Book has been chosen as one of five bilingual books recommended for National Poetry Month by NBCLatino. The book was also spotlighted by The Horn Book as notable novel in verse to celebrate poetry.
Margarita's interview on The Lightning Dreamer with Kidsbiographer's Blog, can be read through this link.
April 11, 2013
Enid Lee, co-editor of Beyond Heroes and Holidays, selected three titles at Teaching for Change's bookstore at Busboys and Poets while in town yesterday: "Surrender Tree" by Margarita Engle, "There Is Nothing Wrong with Black Students" by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, and the graphic novel version of "Race to Incarcerate". Learn about the work of Enid Lee.
Click here to watch Margarita receiving the 2012 Americas Award for Children and Young Adult Literature, at the Library of Congress.
February 15, 2013
A glowing review for The Lightning Dreamer from the Kirkus Review. Read it here.
February 8, 2013
Margarita spoke to 1400 children, ranging from 3rd grade through middle school, as part of the amazing Words Take Wing program at U.C. Davis. She was also featured for the event, by local news outlet, The Davis Enterprise. Read the article here.
January 30, 2013
The Wild Book won the 2013 Mock Belpre from the Heartland chapter of Reforma, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.
January 20, 2013
Margarita had a wonderful time speaking about The Firefly Letters to an enthusiastic Fresno area book club hosted by Denise Sciandra on January 17. She was amazed and grateful for the ease with which this particular book crosses over from young adult reading to women's book clubs!
Margarita will be featured in The ALAN Review issue 40:1 (page 64-69) in an article titled,
Invitational History in Margarita Engle's The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, by Zaira Aruelo.
During Margarita's Author-in Residence week on September, for the Education Department at University of California - Davis, she really enjoyed speaking to student teachers and their mentor teachers. She participated in a fun Family Writing Night at Korematsu Elementary School, where she read from Summer Birds and an advanced review copy of When You Wander. Margarita also introduced the tanka form of poetry, so that parents and children could write their own short poems together. They left with beautifully illustrated mini-anthologies of their own short poems!
Also, don't miss the chance to win a copy of Poetry Friday Anthology and instigate the Poetry Friday movement in your school or library.
Original: August 17
Coming just in time for the 2012-2013 school year, a new poetry anthology, The Poetry Friday Anthology, is available now. This anthology includes three of Margarita's poems, along with more than 200 original poems for children in kindergarten through fifth grade by 75 popular poets including J. Patrick Lewis, Jack Prelutsky, Jane Yolen, Margarita Engle, X. J. Kennedy, Kathi Appelt, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Georgia Heard and Nikki Grimes and many more.
Download and read a sample (pdf) of the anthology. For information about purchasing a copy, click here.
The cover of Margarita's next novel in verse, The Lightning Dreamer, to be published by Harcourt in spring, 2013. It tells the story about Cuba's great abolitionist poet, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda.
Margarita was the featured guest blogger at TeachingBooks.net. Click here to read her article on Writing Historical Novels in Verse, and see a picture of 'Fefa' that inspires Margarita's The Wild Book. Follow this link to hear Margarita sharing some of the backstory for The Wild Book.
Click here to read Cynsations' Celebrating Poetry interview with Margarita. The interview was done by Kate Hosford.
Margarita was recently invited as a speaker for Ms. Nicole Karanjit's ESL (English as Second Language) classes, at the American English Institute:
Speaking about The Wild Book at the Reading and Vocabulary class.
Discussing both of Margarita's rescue dog-themed books, Because of Shoe and When You Wander, at the America Culture Camp for Chinese students and California Experience Camp for Taiwanese students. Margarita also brought along her retired search-and-rescue dog, Maggi, for both presentations.
April 30, 2012 marks the sixteenth anniversary of a visionary program launched by poet Pat Mora, in cooperation with REFORMA and now housed at the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of ALA. Children’s Day/Book Day has grown into a national day of festivities. Schools, museums, bookstores, and libraries host events promoting books and celebrating the joy of reading.
When I try to describe my own love of books, I feel like I could go on and on for pages, writing about the profound role that reading played in my childhood. Adventurous trips to the public library. School assignments that were so challenging and enjoyable, I thought I had to keep my delight secret, to avoid being teased by less bookish kids. Stories. Poems. Travel books. Plays. The variety was thrilling!
The variety of books available to children and their families should always be thrilling. Whether we are writers, teachers, students, parents, librarians, or simply readers from any far-flung branch of the world’s varied careers, let’s all remember to celebrate April 30.
Happy Children’s Day/Book Day! Happy reading!
Read Margarita's previously unpublished poem 'Chocho Seed' featured on GottaBook website's 30 Poets, 30 Days.
Hurricane Dancers is on the 2012 WHITE RAVENS LIST. This is a list of outstanding international books for children and young adults, named by the Internationale Jugendbibliothek, or International Youth Library, in Munich, Germany. The list was presented at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, consists of 250 titles from 40 countries, and will appear in a catalogue available at www.ijb.de.
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Shipwreck is a 2012 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book and ALSC 2012 Notable Children's Book for older readers! See complete list of the winners and honorees for this year here. Margarita will be presented with this award in June, at the ALA conference in Anaheim.
January 16, 2012
The Wild Book is now available for pre-order wherever books are sold. Reserve you copy now!
"...The author gives readers a portrait of a tumultuous period in Cuban history and skillfully integrates island flora, fauna and mythology into Fefa’s first-person tale..." (Kirkus -- a starred review!)
"... beautiful collection of poems that together tell the story of a young girl’s challenge with language, and it is much more. We learn the history and culture of Cuba, and the power and importance of family..." (VOYA)
On October 23, Margarita spoke in a plenary session of the International Board on Books for Young People Regional Conference, in Fresno, along with author Adwaa Badoe from Ghana.
On October 19, Margarita spoke to a group of Fresno school librarians at Liddell School.
On October 1, Margarita signed copies of her books at Petunia's Place Bookstore in celebration of the Hispanic Heritage Month, along with author Gary Soto.
September 24, 2011
Margarita's poem is featured in a new poetry anthology, P*TAG (PoetryTagTime), along with 31 other YA poets and verse novelists like, Naomi Shihab Nye, Paul Janeczko, Helen Frost, Joyce Sidman, current Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, and Lee Bennett Hopkins. This anthology is available to download in e-book/digital format. For more information, visit Poetry Tag Time's website.
August 25, 2011
Margarita was the guest speaker for a book club, unofficially called the Bad Girls Book Club, from Madera, CA. For their meetings, members of the book club read different books and recommend them to each other, rather than discussing a single book. At this meeting, each member read different books written by Margarita. The event was organized by Janet Claassen, a retired librarian and dedicated Friends of the Library volunteer.
Special thanks for Petunia's Place Bookstore, the only independent children's bookstore in Fresno, for staying open late to host the club.
Margarita and her works will be featured on these future publications:
* Poetry Tag Time for Teens, an e-book anthology, edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (September 2011, Poetry For Children)
* The new edition of Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America (Harper Collins, March, 2012). Margarita will be featured in this book as the first Latina Newbery Honor recipient.
July 8, 2011
Hurricane Dancers, story of the first Carribean pirate shipwreck, has been nominated for the 2012 American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adultslist.
Check out Margarita's video interview with Colorín Colorado, as Margarita discusses her childhood memories of Cuba and the ways in which her quest for her own heritage led to the discovery of these unforgettable heroes and heroines.
The Firefly Letters is selected as the Américas Award Honorable Mention.
The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. See complete list of the winners and honors here.
April 15, 2011
Update (June 7): Click here to read an article on Margarita by Sylvia Vardell.