Lion Island by Margarita Engle
Cuba's Warrior of Words

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As with Engle’s related verse novels, this work looks directly at the brutality of slavery and war. It also tenderly exposes the rage and hope that can exist within the same heart.
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Synopsis

In this “beautifully written, thought provoking” (School Library Journal, starred review) novel in verse, award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who becomes a champion for civil rights.

Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and near-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.

So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined to prove that violence is not the only way to gain liberty.
 

About Margarita Engle

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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 Belpré Award, the Américas Award, and the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award; The Poet Slave of Cuba, winner of the Pura Belpré Award and the Américas 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 Belpré Author Award and a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor. She lives with her husband in central California. Visit her at MargaritaEngle.com.
 
Published August 30, 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 177 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Good
on May 04 2016

As with Engle’s related verse novels, this work looks directly at the brutality of slavery and war. It also tenderly exposes the rage and hope that can exist within the same heart.

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