The Wild Book by Ms. Margarita Engle

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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. How will she ever understand them? 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.

About Ms. Margarita Engle

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Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet and novelist whose work has been published in many countries. Her 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, and Hurricane Dancers. She lives with her husband in Northern California. Visit her website at
Published March 20, 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 149 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Discounting a doctor’s opinion that “Fefa will never be able / to read, or write, / or be happy / in school,” her mother gives her a blank diary: “Let the words sprout / like seedlings, / then relax and watch / as your wild diary / grows.” Basing her tale on the life of her maternal grandmother, ...

Jan 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wild Book

Publishers Weekly

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To help Fefa overcome her struggle to read and write, her poetry-loving mother gives her the wild book of the title, a blank book in which Fefa can practice “taming” the letters and words that seem to wriggle away as she tries to read them.

Jan 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wild Book

A Patchwork of Books

It's quick and it's easy and for book lovers in particular, it's a no-brainer.We all know that books matter to kids, and we all know why buying books for teens who do not have wide access to them is a smart investment in our world's future.

Nov 17 2015 | Read Full Review of The Wild Book

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