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 Spanish.
But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.
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Author Margarita Engle thanks the 2012 Pura Belpre committee for selecting HURRICANE DANCERS as an honor book.
“The unique juxtaposition of poetry and cruelty creates a peculiar literary tension.” --VOYA
“Once again, Engle fictionalizes historical fact in a powerful, original story.”--Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Unique and inventive, this is highly readable historical fiction that provides plenty of fodder for discussion.”--School Library Journal
“Like intersecting rip tides, several first-person narratives converge in this verse novel of the sixteenth century.”--Horn Book Magazine
“…the subject matter is an excellent introduction to the age of exploration and its consequences, showing slavery sinking its insidious roots in the Americas and the price paid by those who were there first.”--Publishers Weekly
“Taken individually the stories are slight, but they work together elegantly; the notes and back matter make this a great choice for classroom use.”--Kirkus Reviews
Margarita Engle is a Cuban American poet, novelist, and journalist whose work has been published in many countries. She is the author of young adult nonfiction books and novels in verse including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor Book, The Poet Slave of Cuba, The Firefly Letters, and Tropical Secrets. She lives in northern California.
American Library Association Notable Children's Books, Pura Belpre Author Honor