an image


an image


an image


an image


an image


Coming Soon

March 2017

August 2017

August 2017

October 2017

Now Available

Latin America Inspired Books

FOREST WORLD

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.

Edver isn’t happy about being shipped off to Cuba to visit the father he barely knows. The island is a place that no one in Miami ever mentions without a sigh, but travel laws have suddenly changed, and now it’s a lot easier for divided families to be reunited. Technology in Cuba hasn’t caught up with the times, though, and Edver is expecting a long, boring summer.

He was NOT expecting to meet a sister he didn’t know he had. Luza is a year older and excited to see her little brother, until she realizes what a spoiled American he is. Looking for something—anything—they might have in common, the siblings sneak onto the Internet, despite it being forbidden in Cuba, and make up a fake butterfly. Maybe now their cryptozoologist mother will come to visit. But their message is intercepted by a dangerous poacher, and suddenly much more than their family is at stake. Edver and Luza have to find a way to overcome their differences to save the Cuban jungle that they both have grown to love.

This book will be published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers in August 2017.

MIGUEL'S BRAVE KNIGHT
Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote


Story of Miguel de Cervantes as he grew up and developed the idea for Don Quixote.

This book will be published in October 2017.

ALL THE WAY TO HAVANA

So we purr, cara cara, and we glide, taka taka, and we zoom, zoom, ZOOM!

A family drives into the city of Havana to celebrate a cousin's first birthday. Before their journey, the boy helps his papa tune up their old car, Cara Cara, which has been in their family for many years. They drive along the sea wall, along the coast, past other colorful old cars. The sounds of the city are rich—the putt putts and honks and bumpety bumps of other cars chorus through the streets. A rich celebration of the culture of the Cuban people, their resourcefulness and innovative spirit, and their joy.

This book will be published in August 2017.

More information available through Henry Holt and Co. (BYR).

BRAVO!
Poems about Amazing Hispanics


Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot—the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today!

Biographical poems include: Aida de Acosta, Arnold Rojas, Baruj Benacerraf, César Chávez, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Félix Varela, George Meléndez, José Martí, Juan de Miralles, Juana Briones, Julia de Burgos, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Paulina Pedroso, Pura Belpré, Roberto Clemente, Tito Puente, Ynes Mexia, Tomás Rivera.

This book will be published (March 2017) in English and Spanish edition:
* Order English language edition book here
* Order Spanish language edition book here

Honors:

  • School Library Journal Starred Review (January 2017)

Morning Star Horse / El Caballo Lucero

“When Mamacita chose to call me Estrellita, / it was her way of imagining a little bit / of starlight, deep down in that cavern / where only rare streaks of day or night / could reach—now, Lucero and I will be / Morning Star and Little Star, / a lit-from-within racing team!”

A young girl stricken with rickets and her mother face the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, the challenges of a new century and innovative teachers. Dreams realized and dreams crushed exploring the freedoms only a magical horse can offer.

Award winning author Margarita Engle brings a tale of history mixed with a touch of fantasy.

This book will be published in January 2017 by HBE Publishing:
* Order English edition here
* Order Spanish edition here
* Order bilingual English/Spanish edition here.

LION ISLAND
Cuba's Warrior of Words


In a haunting yet hopeful novel in verse, award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who became a champion of civil rights.

Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and nearly-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.

So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined that violence will not be the only way to gain liberty.

Order book here

Click here for curriculum guide of Lion Island

Honors:

ENCHANTED AIR
Two Cultures, Two Wings


This book is a poetic memoir of Margarita's childhood growing up as a child of two cultures, United States and Cuba, during the Cold War.

Read reviews here

Order book here

Honors:

 

THE SKY PAINTER
Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist


Louis loves to watch birds. He takes care of injured birds and studies how they look and how they move. His father wants him to become an engineer, but Louis dreams of being a bird artist. To achieve this dream, he must practice, practice, practice. He learns from the art of John James Audubon. But as Louis grows up, he begins to draw and paint living, flying birds in their natural habitats.

Released in April 2015, the story is inspired by the life of Louis Fuertes and the deep sense of wonder that he felt when he painted the sky.

Download The Sky Painter activity kit

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

Order book here

Honors:

  • 2016 Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • International Latino Book Awards Finalist, Best Educational Children’s Picture Book
  • International Latino Book Award, Best Educational Children’s Picture Book
  • 2015 Cybils Award Nominee
  • Selected as one of Teaching For Change's recommended book

DRUM DREAM GIRL
How One Girl's Courage Changed Music


Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Released in March 2015, this story is inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers.

Read reviews here

Order book here

Honors:

  • 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video by producer Ryan Swenar of Dreamscape Media
  • CCBC Choices 2016
  • Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book written in 2015
  • 2016 Pura Belpré Award for illustration (Rafael Lopez)
  • ALA Notable Children's Book
  • APALA Award Honor
  • International Latino Book Award, Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book
  • Washington Post 19 Books to Help Children Find Hope and Strength in Stressful Times
  • A Mighty Girl 25 Books to Inspire Your Mighty Girl in 2017
  • Mom.me 15 Fierce Books About Fearless Females
  • 2016 Book Harvest Mirrors and Windows Project
  • Empowering Books for Girl (coolmompicks.com)
  • 14 Books To Inspire Kids to Follow Their Dreams (whatdowedoallday.com)
  • We're the People 2016 Summer Reading List
  • Finalist, California Book Awards
  • 2016 Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • Building STEAM with Día 2016 Booklist
  • Essence 17 Afro-Latino Children's Books to Read to Your Kids
  • Timbuktu's 30 Best Children's Books for Girls of all Time
  • 2016 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
  • CBC/ALSC Building a Home Library (cbcbooks.org)
  • International Latino Book Award Finalist, Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book
  • The Ultimate Diverse Summer Reading List for Kids (HereWeeRead.com)
  • Américas Award Commended Book
  • GreatKidsBooks.com Summer 2016 Reading List
  • 26 Multicultural Picture Book Biographies About Inspiring Women and Girls (coloursofus.com)
  • Amelia Bloomer Top 10
  • Notable Books for a Global Society, International Literacy Association
  • Best Multicultural Books of 2015, Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature
  • School Library Journal Top 10 Latino Books for 2015
  • School Library Journal Best Books of 2015
  • Kirkus Best Informational Picture Books of 2015
  • Georgia Book Award Nominee, 2016-2017
  • Children’s Literacy Initiative Diverse Book Recommendation
  • Huffington Post Best Books of 2015, Most Inspiring Picture Book
  • San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2015
  • Top 15 Mighty Girl Books of 2015
  • 100 magnificent Children’s Books of 2015 – SLJ Fuse#8
  • Smithsonian Book Dragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader
  • Brown Bookshelf Favorite Books of 2015
  • 10 Books That Empower Kids to Stand Up and Speak Brightly Readbrightly.com
  • 2015 Cybils Award Nominee
  • Anansesem Picture Book Month Recommendation
  • Best Picture Books of 2015 selection from howdoesshe.com
  • California Kids Reviewers Choice
  • Scholastic's Instructor magazine annual summer reading list for students
  • Featured on the Washington Post education blog
  • ALSC Notables Nominee
  • Starred review from Kirkus Book Review
  • Children's Book Council Hot Off the Press List for March 2015
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center's Recomended Book of the Week
  • We Need Diverse Books March 2015 Educational kit
  • Starred review on the January 2015 issue of School Library Journal

SILVER PEOPLE
Voices from the Panama Canal


One hundred years ago, the world celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, which connected the world’s two largest oceans and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower. It was a miracle, this path of water where a mountain had stood—and creating a miracle is no easy thing. Thousands lost their lives, and those who survived worked under the harshest conditions for only a few silver coins a day.

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.

This book features Raúl Colón's spectacular cover art and published in the U.S by Harcourt, in Australia and New Zealand by University Press.

Read reviews here

Honors:

THE LIGHTNING DREAMER
Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist


I find it so easy to forget / that I’m just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts.

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 who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.

Read reviews here

Order book here

Honors:

THE WILD BOOK

Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping and hopping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them?

But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. "Think of it as a garden," she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.

The Wild Book is a novel in verse inspired by stories told by Margarita's grandmother about her childhood. The gorgeous cover is illustrated by talented multiple Pura Belpré winning illustrator, Yuyi Morales.

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

Read reviews here

Order book here

Honors:

HURRICANE DANCERS
The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck


Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado—half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother’s Taíno Indian language and his father’s Spanish.

But when a hurricane sinks the ship and 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.

Order book here

Honors:

  • 2012 Pura Belpré Author Honor
  • 2012 Américas Award Winner
  • ALSC 2012 Notable Children's Book for older readers
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults nominee
  • Poetry for Children Blog's Top 20 Most Distinctive Books of Poetry 2011
  • 2012 White Ravens List
  • 2012 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

SUMMER BIRDS
The Butterflies of Maria Merian


In the Middle Ages, people believed that insects were evil, born from mud in a process called spontaneous generation. Maria Merian was only a child, but she disagreed. She watched carefully as caterpillars spun themselves cocoons, which opened to reveal summer birds, or butterflies and moths. Maria studied the whole life cycle of the summer birds, and documented what she learned in vibrant paintings.

This is the story of one young girl who took the time to observe and learn, and in so doing disproved a theory that went all the way back to ancient Greece.

Order book here

Honors:

THE FIREFLY LETTERS
A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba


The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika Bremer visits from Sweden in 1851 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, the wealthy daughter of the house, sneaks out to join them. As the three women explore the lush countryside, they form a bond that breaks the barriers of language and culture.

In this quietly powerful new book, award-winning poet Margarita Engle paints a portrait of early women’s rights pioneer Fredrika Bremer and the journey to Cuba that transformed her life.

Order book here

Honors:

  • Pura Belpré Honor
  • Jane Addams Award Finalist
  • California Book Award Finalist
  • 33 Latino Middle Grade Chapter Books You Should Know (jumpintoaboook.com)
  • International Reading Association Notable Book for a Global Society
  • Américas Award Honor
  • NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Book
  • Amelia Bloomer Book
  • TAYSHAS Choice
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • ALSC 2011 Notable Children's Book
  • Latinas for Latino Lit 2014 Summer Reading Program

TROPICAL SECRETS
Holocaust Refugees in Cuba


Daniel has escaped Nazi Germany with nothing but a desperate dream that he might one day find his parents again. But that golden land called New York has turned away his ship full of refugees, and Daniel finds himself in Cuba.

As the tropical island begins to work its magic on him, the young refugee befriends a local girl with some painful secrets of her own. Yet even in Cuba, the Nazi darkness is never far away . . .

Order book here

Honors:

  • Sydney Taylor Award
  • Paterson Prize
  • Américas Award
  • 33 Latino Middle Grade Chapter Books You Should Know (jumpintoaboook.com)
  • Jane Addams Award Commendation
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
  • California Teachers Association Recommended Book

THE SURRENDER TREE
Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom


Who could have guessed that after all these years,
the boy I called Lieutenant Death
when we were both children
would still be out here, in the forest,
chasing me, now,
hunting me, haunting me . . .

It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in concentration camps with too little food and too much illness.
Rosa is a nurse, but with a price on her head for helping the rebels, she dares not go to the camps. Instead, she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her. Black, white, Cuban, Spanish—Rosa does her best for everyone. Yet who can heal a country so torn apart by war?

Order book here
This book is also available in bilingual English and Spanish translation.

Honors:

  • Newbery Honor
  • Pura Belpré Award
  • Américas Award
  • Jane Addams Award
  • Claudia Lewis Poetry Award
  • Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • ALA Notable Book
  • NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Book
  • Amelia Bloomer Book
  • Booklist Editor’s Choice
  • Kansas State Reading Circle
  • Michigan Great Lakes Great Books Award Master List
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Finalist - Once Upon a Word Children's Book Award, Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Library
  • Bank Street College of Education Selection List of Reading Aloud With Children Twelve and Older
  • ALSC Notable Books
  • Great Social Studies Poetry Books list, from CLA Master Class: Poetry Across the Curriculum (Social Studies and Poetry)
  • Book Riot 100 Must-Read Latin American Book
  • Artists Without Walls Performance, New York

THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA
A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano


A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet.

Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.

Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope.

Order book here

Honors:

  • Pura Belpré Medal
  • Américas Award
  • International Reading Association Children’s Book Award
  • International Reading Association Teachers’ Choice
  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults
  • NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts
  • Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year
  • New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book
  • Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice
  • Booklist Editor’s Choice
  • Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Master List
  • CCBC Global Reading List
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Bank Street College of Education Selection List of Reading Aloud With Children Twelve and Older