Featured books by Margarita Engle

Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics

By: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Biography, Poetry

Lyrical poems introduce a “variety of amazing people …” including Pura Belpre became a New York librarian. She offered “Two Languages at the Library.” Tomas Rivera wrote “Courageous Poetry” and became the first Latino leader at the University of California.  Each short piece is accompanied by a striking portrait. This handsome, accessible volume concludes with a bit of additional information about each subject. 

Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote

Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote

By: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Raul Colón
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Biography, Poetry

A vivid imagination helped Miguel Cervantes to grow beyond a tough childhood and to create a cultural icon: Don Quixote. Luminous illustrations and rich poetry follow young Miguel to adulthood where his creativity triumphs. A note about Cervantes from the author and illustrator conclude this stunning book.

Orangutanka

Orangutanka

By: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Renee Kurilla
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Poetry

A poetic, playful look at an orangutan family in the wild takes as they dance their way through the trees of the rainforest. A poetic form called the "tanka" combines with animated illustrations for a jaunty glimpse of these appealing primates.

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

By: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Biography, Nonfiction

Butterflies were once thought to be "beasts of the devil." Maria Merian, a perceptive young German naturalist, knew better. She recorded her notes and drawings on the butterflies' transformation in secret so that she would not be accused of witchcraft and later became a famous scientist and artist who helped the rest of the world understand natural life cycles. Margarita Engle brings her extraordinary story to life, accompanied by Julie Paschkis' gorgeous illustrations.

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

By: Margarita Engle
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry

Written in verse, this is a Pura Belpré Award-winning portrait of Juan Francisco Manzano, the poet who was born a slave in Cuba in 1797. Margarita Engle explores Manzano's poetic interpretations of his world and what freedom really means in a slave society.

The Wild Book

The Wild Book

By: Margarita Engle
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Product Description: 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. 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.

When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story

When You Wander: A Search-and-Rescue Dog Story

By: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Mary Morgan
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Fiction

A golden retriever with a "smart nose" is doing his job: tracking down a young child lost in the woods. The dog's narration is gentle with the child he's tracking seen in the dog's thought bubbles. Additional "dog nose facts" and advice for teachers and parents are presented after the child and parents are reunited.

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"Writing is thinking on paper. " — William Zinsser