Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is the national Young People’s Poet Laureate, and the first Latino to receive that honor. She is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN Literary Award for Young Adult Literature winner. Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture book Drum Dream Girl received the Charlotte Zolotow Award. Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives. She continues to visit Cuba as often as she can. Visit her at

Books by this Author

Isla de leones (Lion Island)
Soaring Earth
La selva (Forest World)
Forest World
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Author Revealed

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Helping to rediscover great Latinos who have been forgotten by history.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Honesty, compassion, perseverance

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Worry.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Reading, walking, or hiding in the forest so that my husband's wilderness search and rescue dogs can practice finding a lost person.


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