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Dreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems
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Dreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  31 reviews
From award-winning poet Margarita Engle comes Dreams from Many Rivers, an middle grade verse history of Latinos in the United States, told through many voices, and featuring illustrations by Beatriz Gutierrez Hernandez.

From Juana Briones and Juan Ponce de León, to eighteenth century slaves and modern-day sixth graders, the many and varied people depicted in this moving
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
I just saw this book on a post on Twitter and I knew instantly that I would like to read it. Added it to my cart on the spot!
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Margarita Engle takes us in a journey through time as we get a glimpse of U.S. history starting with the Taínos of Borikén (now Puerto Rico). Although I enjoyed the book, there was a glaring historical error in the section about Puerto Rico that made me wonder what else was incorrect about the other locales described in the poems.

Nonexistent caimans aside, this book fills a void in the historical and poetic canons. I just wished it had been a better researched one.
Cassie Thomas
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book just ripped me apart. It needs to be read, studied, researched, and understood by every middle grade and high school classroom out there this year. I felt all the emotions; ...more
This one is a 3.5 for me. While I loved the rich collection of voices represented here, sometimes the number of voices can seem overwhelming and leave me longing to spend a little more time with some of those individuals whose stories are featured here. Relying on primary and secondary sources, the always-reliable Margarita Engle "schools" her readers in the history of those who were in this country long before it was known as the United States. Starting with Boriken--now known as Puerto ...more
Christina Potter Bieloh
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. It is definitely one that I am going to want to have for my very own (thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reading copy!). It's a history of people from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America and South America all combined into a beautiful series of poems. There are several elements that make this book rich, compelling and comprehensive. The simple language of the poems is amazing. She conveys the feelings of frustration and sadness but also love, pride and ...more
This is hard for me to do. Only 2-stars for THE Margarita Engle! I have loved everything she has written, but this one was a miss for me.

This book has such promise, and I think this story is one to be heard. I do not think Engle's style was the right choice for this story though. This book needed more words on the page than Engle gives. It really needed to be written in prose to give all of the characters and plots the amount of detail they needed.

Engle's words however are as beautiful as ever.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Engle again manages to tell a story and educate through her poetry. Her subject this time is larger than usual - the Hispanic history of the United States ranging from the time the first Spaniards arrived in North America to present day. Unfortunately, she doesn't include information such as which poems are about real people and which are fictional. So many recent books like this that merge genres include back matter to fill in gaps and lead readers to further resources to learn more. With such ...more
3.5 stars
As the subtitle says, this is a Hispanic history of the US told in poems. I think it's really important because it is such an overlooked, neglected, forgotten part of our history. It needs to be told, talked about, written about. And so I feel bad that I only gave it 3.5 stars. I love this author; I love her writing style; the topic is important... and yet, somehow I personally did not feel a flow or connection between the different poems - maybe because the topic is so vast and I know
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was just incredible. Every poem was an engaging, and often heart-wrenching, look into history through the perspective of Hispanic & Latino voices. Margarita Engle weaves together a seamless story line that manages to incorporate so much of history and storytelling into quite a short book. I found this to be an approachable way to learn about these cultures and histories while also not compromising the beautiful poetry. I flew through this book in about an hour and I will absolutely ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was very powerful and moving. It shines light on the parts of the US past that "they" try so hard to have us ignore. It shows not only the horrors that various governments have inflicted on indigenous peoples, but also the never ending hope that keeps them moving forward with such power. It shows that Taxation without Representation is still happening by the US, even though that is the primary reason we had a "revolution." This book not only teaches history, it shows the important hope of ...more
Lauren (Cook's Books)
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really powerful collection that riffed on spoon rivers to create a much more realistic picture of America through poetry.

The book didn't shy away from the violence and instability of collonisation and its legacy, highlighting intersectional latinx voices in issues up to the present day.

I can't speak to the representation, and I have seen members of the represented community citing historical inaccuracies, but this collection was a fantastic starting point for a more in depth journey
Lorie Barber
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

A truly original work of literature that shares the history of the U.S. from the Latinx perspective, all in first-person poems. Engle, a Children’s Poet Laureate, creates a singular narrative - part historical fiction, part informational from real people who lived through historical events - that white historians and educators have long ignored.
This book is necessary for all classrooms.
Amber Webb
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Margarita Engle does a wonderful job of reveling a story that is not often brought to the forefront. It was beautiful, disturbing and enlightening. This is a book that should be shared far and wide and discussed in many formats. The novel in verse format made it easy to digest and linger over the pages.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book, and there is so much packed into this volume of beautiful poetry--it reflects the centuries of Hispanic history in the US that simply isn't taught from these voices. Heartbreaking and uplifting at once. I hope this is read in homes and schools across the country.
Raven Black
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Romantic in places, serious pride in heritage. The mix of historical and fiction characters a nice touch. Shows how history has repeated itself multiple times. Complex but simple too. Contrast of thoughts, ideas, etc.
Amy DePoy
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, middle-grade
From Anti-War, Frank Del Olmo:
"Otherwise, I never would have...learned how to make up my own mind / about war and other / sorrows"

Beautiful and inspiring collection of poems about Hispanic history of the US. Love the start with Puerto Rico. Definitely recommended for all middle school students!
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Important work and truthful about history.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written and powerful!
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, thought provoking poems made me really want to learn more about history of North America from the point of view of indigenous people. Beautiful illustrations.

Beautifully written, powerful and important. I just wish that we could have spent more time with each character, though at the same time I appreciated the different perspectives.
Rhina M. Finley
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, make love poetry even more.
Shauna Yusko
Useful and well-written.
A collection of beautifully illustrated poems that recount and honor the diverse tapestry that is the Hispanic history of the US.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The poems are so good and cover so much history -- much of which I'm ashamed to say I didn't know.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
"Ambitiously covering more than 500 years of history, Engle brings an imaginative and personal voice to an impressive variety of perspectives." [from Booklist]
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of own-voice poems that give a rarely shown view of US history.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: hawarden
US history told from a different perspective, & very good.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
History told through poetry. Engle shares a wide variety of Latinx views through centuries of history. Powerful expressions for readers to think about and re-evaluate their views of our history.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading these poems, I need to find an adult book about Hispanics in the US.
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Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet, novelist, and journalist whose work has been published in many countries. She lives with her husband in northern California.