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Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado--half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother's Taíno Indian language and his father's Spani ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Henry Holt & Company
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  465 ratings  ·  144 reviews


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R K
3.5

An excellent introduction to poetry in verse. Poetry in verse is not my favourite style of as I prefer ones that have some sort of rhythm or rhyme, yet, for the story that Engle was trying to tell, verse was the only style that would fit.

Hurricane Dancers tells the story of a young boy working as a slave on a ship whose name Quebrado meaning "broken one" as his heritage is mixed since he comes from a Native mother and a Spanish father. Alone since he was very young, Quebrado does not know wh
...more
Kimberly
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeously written account of the first Carribean pirate shipwreck in the 1500s. Our hero, Quebrado, is a slave of Taino Indian and Spanish ancestry. He belongs to no one, a child of two worlds, of two languages. He is a slave on the famous Vernardino de Talavera's pirate ship, the first of its kind in the Caribbean Sea, and a very important hostage is on board with them, Alonso de Ojeda.

The story is based on actual events, though Quebrado himself is fictional.
After the shipwreck, Quedbrado i
...more
Kim
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I read this book the very same day I received it in the mail. The cover is beautiful, but the content is even more beautiful. This book is destined to become a classic. This book should be shared over and over, and passed from generation to generation.

I think that I will go read it again!
Cynthia
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pirates, 2019
It was neat to read a whole story in poetry/verse form!

This pirate seafaring tale revolved around a native boy who was taken from his home and became a slave aboard a pirate ship. The ship perished in a Caribbean hurricane. The boy, the pirate captain, and the hostage - a Venezuelan governor survived and landed upon an island of cu ba "Friend Big", known today as Cuba.

Through the lens of these three characters and two more, characters of a folk tale Caucubu "Brave Earth" and Narido "River Being
...more
Pat C
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah
I read this short book on the way back from my family's house this Thanksgiving.

I was surprised to find that it was told in verse--a quick flip-through would have shown me this, but this was one of the Free Book Day selections I had to grab before someone else did. Still, I was impressed with how much I was able to imagine and visualize with only a handful of words. Adjectives were used sparingly but with great effect.

I think the subtitle actually sells the book short: I picked this up mostly b
...more
NerdyJediGymnast
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was told in different points of view and in a poetic kind of verse, which was pretty cool.

It's a historical fiction story about The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck (as he title says) and was short and to the point which I loved and it told the short tale of a slave boy who tries to find some kind freedom for himself while dealing with his original captors. It was a fun read and kept me engaged. But it mentioned the boy's (Quebrado) parents a lot and I wish in the end I knew what happ
...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I enjoyed learning the historical facts about the early history of Cuba that were revealed in this book, but the story itself lacked something. I might have liked it more had the drama of the flight of the lovers Narido and Caucubu been expanded upon, or the thoughts of Bernardino de Talavera and Alonso de Ojeda as they wandered, shipwrecked, on the island (did they repent their evil ways?) been dealt with at greater length. However, I understand the the story was mainly about the boy Quebrado a ...more
Michelle Llewellyn
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
The poetic narrative in this book is admirable but I was easily confused by all the different storylines and characters with strange names.
No one talks to each other in this story.
No action except what is presented through stream of consciousness by each individual character. Drawings of each character next to their name at the top of the page would've made it easier to follow.
This becomes redundant, all these first person internal narratives presenting a thin tale of slavery, shipwreck, and
...more
Heather
After reading this book, I wondered why is it that

if we break up
the text on a page
it is
suddenly considered
poetry.

Frankly, I just consider it easier to read! :) Ms. Engle's words are lovely, though, so I guess that is why it is "free verse" and not just a wise use of white space. However, I don't think this was the best format for this story. There was too much going on to be addressed in a short free-verse novel, and I didn't think the legend of the two lovers meshed well with the rest of the
...more
Tiffany
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book could be read by a girl or boy who are in the grade 6 to 10. This book has spanish character names. The book is young boy that is called Quebrado that means half islander and half outsider, a broken. He has traded from ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea from as long as he can remember. But now the pirate captain wants this young boy to boy the translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother's and father's languages. Then a hurricane sinks the ship and most of the cre ...more
Verity
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really quick read. The poetry flowed perfectly and the characters well defined despite the shortness of the poem. I enjoyed it!
Kayla Edwards
This was a very unique poetry-style telling about the convergence of several very different characters' lives and how it changes the course of those lives forever. A pleasant read.
Becky B
Quebrado is a gold mine for the pirate captain. With his half Caribbean native, half Spanish blood he can speak the tribal languages of the islands in addition to Spanish and act as translator for the pirate. Qeubrado can't wait to escape the abusive captain's clutches. Alonso de Ojeda also can't wait to escape the pirate's clutches. He was a brutal conquistador and Spanish governor until Captain Bernardino de Talavera kidnapped him. Meanwhile on a nearby island, the villagers have gathered in a ...more
Katrina
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Margarita Engle’s Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck is a beautifully written novel in verse, similar in many ways to her earlier book The Surrender Tree. Here again, Engle brings to life a lesser known period of Caribbean history through three distinct but intertwined stories: that of Quebrado; Naridó and Caucubú; and Ojeda and Talavera. While many of us are familiar with the history of Christopher Columbus, other stories of the conquest and colonization of the Americas are ...more
Vamos a Leer
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Margarita Engle's Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck is a beautifully written novel in verse, similar in many ways to her earlier book The Surrender Tree. Here again, Engle brings to life a lesser known period of Caribbean history through three distinct but intertwined stories: that of Quebrado; Naridó and Caucubú; and Ojeda and Talavera. While many of us are familiar with the history of Christopher Columbus, other stories of the conquest and colonization of the Americas are ...more
ACS Librarian
In the 1500s, pirates roamed the Caribbean Sea. Hurricane Dancers is the story of a historical pirate (Talavera), a conquistador (Ojeda), and three natives (Quebrado, Narido, and Caucubu). When a hurricane strikes, the ship wrecks on an island and the power structure is reversed. Well the pirate and the conquistador survive this strange new world of natives, jungles, and wild animals?

This book was a bit challenging to follow at times. It is written in verse and every page is from a different poi
...more
Alice
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Told in free verse, this is a story of the first pirate of the Caribbean.Some of the characters are real but the storyteller is a fictional boy. We learn the story of Cuba and how it was decimated of natives by the Spanish. We also learn of two native Americans who ran away to marry: Narido and Caucuba, after whom the island of Cuba was named.
Sharon Purucker
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are many stories going on in this short book making me want to investigate more. Who is Bernardino de Talavera, and why did he become a pirate? Alonso de Ojeda traveled with Amerigo Vespucci, so how did that come about? Narido and Caucubu's relationship is legend, so did it end well? There are so many questions from reading this exciting story!
Child960801
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels, poetry
This is historical fiction inspired by real events and written in poetry. It's the story of the first caribbean pirate shipwreck, told from the point of view of a bunch of different characters. I enjoyed it a lot.
Christen
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This tale of pirates, shipwrecks, and dominance of man over others is written in earnest prose. The pages cycle through characters quickly as you see the tales from multiple perspectives: pirate, despot, slave, forlorn daughter, fisherman.
alix
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
i don't always love novels in verse, but this one was sweet, exciting, and dealt with a unique subject.
Keshia
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great story by this author! I love all the imagery used in each of her stories. It brings everything to life.
Hope
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
for the Book Riot 2019 Read Harder challenge, this is my pick for task #22 A children’s or middle grade book (not YA) that has won a diversity award since 2009
Kayla Fahy
3.5 stars out of 5.0 stars

Super quick read
knorq
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
Magical.
Hailey Gray
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is considered historical fiction and would best be explained as a poetry chapter book. A boy named Quebrado lives as a slave on pirate ships and doesn't remember what is was like to live a normal loved life. Sorrow is evident in many of the poems but they help make the story.
Sydney Parkinson
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
"Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck" is a great novel in verse. This novel features poems written by many different characters, who are all experiencing a devastating shipwreck, but all have very different roles and perspectives. For instance, one character is the Capitan and one is a slave on the ship. The poems alternate at random, giving the different characters point of view on what is happening. This was my favorite part of the story because it showed how characters rel ...more
Savannah
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I first picked up this book because I was trying to find a book that was nonfiction. This book caught my eye because it was written in the format of short poems for different characters. I started reading, and I found that I actually really enjoyed it. it was about a young slave boy who is stuck on a pirate's ship until a shipwreck finally frees him. He then makes friends with the natives, but is later exiled and meets up with some of his friends who ran away for love. The pirate captain survive ...more
Rll595ag_thomasjakovlic
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Margarita Engle’s Hurricane Dancers is historical accounting of real events but told in fictional style. There are only five characters in this story, but our writer gives each one distinctly unique and rich personal voice. Quebrado is the young ship’s slave who is both Taino Indian and of Spanish ancestry. Bernandino de Talavera is the first pirate of the Carribean. Alonso de Ojeda is a conquistador and the pirate’s prisoner, Narido is a young Ciboney Indian fisherman and Caucubu the young dau ...more
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173 followers
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.
“I have spent all my years
accepting sad truths.

—Quebrado”
4 likes
“I still think of myself
as a broken place, a drifting isle
with no home.

—Quebrado”
3 likes
More quotes…