Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Poet Slave of Cuba Book Review

Juan Francisco Manzano’s story, told by Margarita Engle in The Poet Slave of Cuba, is one that will break your heart through his suffering and then mend it time and again through his hope and survival.

Through lyrical verse, Engle tells of Manzano’s life not only through his eyes, but also through the people that were connected to him whether through familial ties or servitude. Manzano’s first owner, Doña Beatriz, thought of Juan as simply a “poodle,” a toy to be played with and thrown away when no longer needed for entertainment. However, she did say that upon her death Juan would be free from slavery. This promise was not upheld by his new, cruel owner, La Marquesa de Prado Ameno, who felt that Juan should have been grateful for everything she “gave” him. Engle’s words and Sean Qualls’ images powerfully tell the reader the brutality and injustice Manzano faced as a slave.

Enlge has written an award winning book that will draw in readers of all ages. Readers catch a glimpse of the suffering Manzano and other salves faced daily in Cuba. Engle’s poetry gives a depth to the story that an informational biography may not have. Her poetic prose allows the reader to not only know Manzano’s story, but to also feel it.

You can find this review at the following web address:


Anonymous said...

Hey. I sent out an e mail but want to cover all bases. There is no class tonight. See you next week.


Beth Ann said...

I have posted my final project/website on my blog. Have a great holiday!