The Poet Slave of Cuba

The Poet Slave of Cuba Cover

The Poet Slave of Cuba

A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

By Margarita Engle; Sean Qualls (Illustrator)

Henry Holt & Company, Hardcover, 9780805077063, 183pp.

Publication Date: April 4, 2006

Description

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.

"The Poet Slave of Cuba" is the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Latino Interest.



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; "Silver People"; "Drum Dream Girl", winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award; and her memoir "Enchanted Air", winner of the Pura Belpre Author Award and a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor. She lives with her husband in central California. Visit her at MargaritaEngle.com.

Sean Qualls received a Coretta Scott King Honor award for his illustrations in Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford, and has published many other acclaimed books. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family. Visit his website at www.seanqualls.com.


Praise For The Poet Slave of Cuba

* "An absolutely lovely book . . . that should be read by young and old, black and white, Anglo and Latino."
--School Library Journal, starred review
 
* "Readers will hear the stories--and never forget them."
--Booklist, starred review
 
* "A work of literary imagination. Engle's skillful portrait will spark readers' interest in Manzano's own poetry."
--Horn Book, starred review
 
* "The moving poetry and finely crafted story will draw readers in and leave them in tears and in awe."
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review