The Lightning Dreamer

The Lightning Dreamer

Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist

By Margarita Engle

Harcourt Children's Books, Hardcover, 9780547807430, 182pp.

Publication Date: March 2013

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 Gomez 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, andwas ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.

About the Author
Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet and novelist whose books include "The Surrender Tree", a Newbery Honor book and winner of the Jane Addams Children s Book Award, the Pura Belpre Award, the Americas Award, and the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award; "The Poet Slave of Cuba", winner of the Pura Belpre Award and the Americas Award; "Tropical Secrets;" "The Firefly Letters;" "Hurricane Dancers;" "The Wild Book; The Lightning Dreamer, "winner of the PEN Literary Award for Young Adult Literature; and"Silver People". She lives with her husband in Northern California. Visit her at

Praise For The Lightning Dreamer

"This is the context for a splendid novel that celebrates one brave woman who rejected a constrained existence with enduring words that continue to sing of freedom."
Booklist, starred review

"An inspiring fictionalized verse biography of one of Cuba's most influential writers. . . . Fiery and engaging, a powerful portrait of the liberating power of art."

"In these poems, their longings for freedom, their fears, their loves, and their heartaches are elegantly crafted through images that make the island of Cuba and its people vividly real and connect them to the hearts of contemporary readers."