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The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedomby Margarita Engle
2009 Pura Belpré Author Award
Synopses & Reviews
It is 1896. Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free. People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness. Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps. So 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? Acclaimed poet Margarita Engle has created another breathtaking portrait of Cuba.
The Surrender Tree is a 2009 Newbery Honor Book, the winner of the 2009 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and the 2009 Bank Street - Claudia Lewis Award, and a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
The Surrender Tree is a Newbery Honor winning, lyrical history in poems, and this edition has the Spanish and English text available in one book.
Newbery Honor-winner Margarita Engle tells her most personal story to date, a glowing portrait in verse of her Cuban grandmother as a young girl struggling with dyslexia.
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.
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 . . .
About the Author
MARGARITA ENGLE is a Cuban American poet, novelist, and journalist whose work has been published in many countries. She lives with her husband in northern California.
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