Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many young adult verse novels about the island, including THE SURRENDER TREE, which received the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino author, and THE LIGHTNING DREAMER, recipient of the 2014 PEN USA Award. Her books have also received multiple Pura Belpré Awards and Honors, Américas Awards, Jane Addams Awards and Honors, International Reading Association Award, Claudia Lewis Poetry Award, and many others.
Margarita grew up in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during summers with her extended family in Cuba. ENCHANTED AIR, Two Cultures, Two Wings is a verse memoir about those childhood visits. -from Margarita Engle's webpage
I read Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle as part of my own challenge to read all the Youth Media Award Books for young adults. Enchanted Air won the Pura Belpre Award this year which goes to an excellent book to a Latino author. It is a deeply touching memoir about Ms. Engle's feeling about her mother's homeland, Cuba, and what it was like to be barred from visiting it once the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred and travel to Cuba was blocked.
Her visits to Cuba always felt a bit like visiting a fairy-tale land. Her her in California felt les like home than Cuba on those visits to the exotic island of her ancestors. On the book jacket Ms. Engle says that the experience of being a girl from two places was so personal to her it was hard to express so she decided to describe the experience of travel to and from both places. The poems are deeply personal and very descriptive. I understand why it won the Pura Belpre. It deserved to be recognized for its excellence.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Enchanted Air and have purchase a copy for my library. Now I need to figure out how to get students to read it, too.
|Read as part of this challenge to read all the ALA YA Award books for 2016.|