FRIDAY BOOK SHARING!
What are you reading?
Today I finished reading Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle and I am so excited to share this book! It’s a lovely memoir told in verse. There are so many things to love about this book! I will start with the cover, which is beautiful and such a perfect image for this story. The wings of a bird, the clouds, the ocean, two pieces of land, along with the beautiful script evoking flight. Margarita’s story is of the first fourteen years of her life, as a young girl who lives most of the time in Los Angeles, but whose heart and family are in Cuba, a world and an ocean away from her. When she visits her mother’s family in Cuba, she is part of the vibrant and lively island, so different from her life in the city in California. When Margarita is just eleven years old, the Bay of Pigs Invasion takes place in Cuba. The Cold War means that Margarita’s two worlds collide in a way that brings pain, frustration and complication – how could her two countries be at odds with one another? What is happening to her family in Cuba? Can Margarita and her mother visit again one day? What is the future for Cuba and the United States?
Englie’s language is powerful and mesmerizing. She tells her story and also brings to light both of her home countries and the struggles faced by so many families. Engle’s metaphors are complex and intriguing, which will bring readers together in discussion. Readers will also be transported to her childhood, through the significant events of the time period and also through the small details that help evoke this time in her life. Beautiful writing. Another amazing book by Margarita Engle, the first Latina to win a Newbery Honor.
One final element I loved – Margarita’s enduring and inspiring sense of hope, which extends to all refugees and those are stateless due to wars and conflicts around the world (as Engle writes in her dedication). Margarita Engle’s words:
All I know about the future
is that it will be beautiful.
Someday, surely I’ll be free
to return to the island of all my childhood
Normal diplomatic relations.
An ordinary family – united.
Magical travel, back and forth.
It will happen.