Exclusive Cover Reveal: Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

We are delighted and incredibly honoured to bring you the exclusive cover reveal for Anansesem advisory board member Margarita Engle's upcoming verse memoir, Soaring Earth, the companion book to her childhood verse memoir Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings, which was a 2016 Pura Belpré Award winner. Engle has done so much to support Anansesem and we couldn't be more thrilled to share her work and continued success.

Watch the video below, then keep reading to learn more about the book.

Margarita Engle on Soaring Earth:
When I wrote my childhood verse memoir, Enchanted Air, my goal was to tell my personal story before all the people who lived through the Cuban revolution and Cold War era are gone. Once our generation passes, others will feel free to oversimplify our complex experience. In fact, the absurd process of romanticizing Cuban history has already begun, with books about the island written by outsiders whose only viewpoint is tourism.

Enchanted Air met its goal of communicating one Cuban-American child’s experience, but I never imagined that I would write a sequel. Soaring Earth is a companion book, showing how I alternately coped and failed to cope with the loss of travel rights that followed the Missile Crisis. Soaring Earth is about my high school and college years. I wrote it because I heard a literacy expert cite drastic statistics regarding the current college dropout rate. I hope that my story of protests, dreams, discouragement, and hopes will resonate with teenagers today, as they face another era of conflict.

I started college at U.C. Berkeley in 1968, dropped out during riots, hitchhiked across the country, became briefly homeless, tried to volunteer to cut sugarcane in Cuba, and when that effort failed, I eventually returned to school, where I found a refuge in studying agriculture, and a source of hope in poetry.

Soaring Earth will be released by Atheneum Books for Young Readers in February, 2019.

About the Author

Margarita Engle is the 2017-2019 national Young People’s Poet Laureate, and a USBBY 2019 Astrid Lindgren Award nominee. She is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN USA Award recipient. Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, received the Pura Belpré Award, Golden Kite Award, Walter Dean Myers Honor, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, among others. Drum Dream Girl received the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book text. Her newest books are The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar, and Jazz Owls, a Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots. Pending publication in September is a picture book titled A Dog Named Haku, A Holiday Story From Nepal, co-authored with Amish and Nicole Karanjit. Soaring Earth, a sequel to Enchanted Air, will be published by Atheneum in February, 2019. Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives. She studied agronomy and botany along with creative writing. She lives in central California with her husband and his wilderness search and rescue dogs. Visit her on the Web at Margarita Engle and on Twitter at @YPPLaureate.

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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