Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: Hurricane Dancers

Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck
By Margarita Engle
Published 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.

Through a variety of narrative voices and in poetry, Engle tells the story of the first Caribbean pirate shipwreck in the 1500s. This wreck will have a variety of consequences for the people involved, including the people aboard the ship as well as the island's natives.

Reading The Firefly Letters basically sealed the deal on my adoration of Engle. Her books are absolutely lyrical and meticulously researched, with fascinating subject matter. Hurricane Dancers is no exception. I love that she uses multiple perspectives to tell these interesting stories; it really adds more depth to read about the situations through many different eyes. I love that she picks little-known but really unique and engaging pieces of history to write about. It's clear that Engle does her research and has a passion for educating others about these forgotten bits of history (particularly Cuban history). What Engle does, she does exceptionally well, and I'm not surprised that this was on many Mock Newbery lists last year as well as winning a Pura Belpre Honor. I hope she continues to write these beautiful historical novels that really capture your attention and show you the beauty of a well-written book.

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