Stephanie Bange's Reviews > Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics

Bravo! by Margarita Engle
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it was amazing

Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle once again educates us about Latinos as she brings to life 18 individuals, from many time periods (presented chronologically), walks of life, and spheres of influence through her poetry.

In “First Friend”, Juan de Miralles (a Cuban observer and friend of George Washington) tells his story in 1780: “George asks me to help by sending my ships back to the island of Cuba – my homeland – so that I can deliver a fragrant load of juice green tropical limes and tasty pink guavas. Fresh fruit really is the cure for scurvy.”

Felix Varela talks about his support of Irish immigrants in 1800’s New York in “Choosing Peace”: “I work hard to help Irish families build schools for their children, and I tend cholera patients, and I defend Irish American boys and girls against insults from mobs who hate them just because their parents are immigrants.”

Mexican-American Juana Briones used medicinal herbs to cure the sick in San Francisco in the 1800’s. Paulina Pedroso and Jose Marti were Cuban-Americans who spoke out against inequality in the U.S. Tito Puente was the King of Latin Jazz. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Roberto Clemente was a Pittsburgh Pirate baseball player who died in a plane crash while trying to deliver supplies to earthquake survivors in Nicaragua.

Some well-known, some obscure to the general public, each person is given a two-page spread, one with a full-color mixed media image of the person and the facing page with the person’s name, years lived, country of origin, and an original poem about the individual which gives readers an idea of his/her contribution to society. Backmatter includes more information about each person and includes a list of other Latinos (who presumably were under consideration for inclusion). Lopez’s artwork is stunning, bright and colorful, with a feeling of the culture and time each subject lived.

A core title for K-8 classrooms looking to include not only diversity, but also consideration for others through the magic of words.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 29, 2017 – Shelved

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