Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is the national Young People’s Poet Laureate, and the first Latino to receive that honor. She is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN Literary Award for Young Adult Literature winner. Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture book Drum Dream Girl received the Charlotte Zolotow Award. Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives. She continues to visit Cuba as often as she can. Visit her at

Books by this Author

La selva (Forest World)
Soaring Earth
Isla de leones (Lion Island)
Forest World
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Curriculum Guides

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Author Revealed

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Switching from writing for adults to writing to children late in life, instead of earlier.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Honesty, compassion, perseverance

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Dancing on horseback.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I'm shy, except when I talk about books.