April 1, 2008
The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle
A biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, born in in Cuba in 1797 and told through poetry in the voices of Juan himself, his mother and father, and the family that has enslaved him. A powerful, moving story of a boy who is gifted with the power of verse, but who must face the cruelty, jealousy, and spitefulness of the women that keep him as a slave. Juan perseveres and maintains hope even when each moment of freedom is crushed by severe brutality. Vividly illustrated by Sean Qualls with black and white drawings.
Reed Reads Score: 4.5