Enchanted Air

Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir

Enchanted Air

Illustrated by: Edel Rodriguez
For Ages: 12 and up
  • 20
In this poetic memoir, which won the Pura Belpré Author Award, was a YALSA Nonfiction Finalist, and was named a Walter Dean Myers Award Honoree, acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.

Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not.

Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 208 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481435222 | 
  • August 2015 | 
  • Grades 7 and up | 
  • Lexile ® 1120L
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About the Author

Margarita Engle
Photograph by Marshall W. Johnson

Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet and novelist whose books include The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor book and winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the Pura Belpré Award, and the Américas Award; The Poet Slave of Cuba, winner of the Pura Belpré Award and the Américas Award; Tropical Secrets; The Firefly Letters; Hurricane Dancers; The Wild Book; The Lightning Dreamer, winner of the PEN Literary Award for Young Adult Literature; Silver People; Drum Dream Girl, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award; and her memoir Enchanted Air, winner of the Pura Belpré Author Award and a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor. She lives with her husband in central California. Visit her at MargaritaEngle.com.

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