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A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet.
Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.
Powerful, haunting poems and breathtaking illustrations create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope.
The Poet Slave of Cuba is the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Maste, Pura Belpre Author Award, ALA Notable Children's Books, NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts, Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library, IRA Children's and Young Adults Book Award, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Americas Award for Children's & YA Lit. Winner, IRA Teachers' Choices, NCTE Notable Child. Bks in Lang. A, IRA Children's Book Award, Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, Winner, Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Master List, NYPLT Books for the Teen Age, NYPL Books for the Teen Age, American Library Association Notable Children's Books, ALA Best Books for Young Adults
My mind is a brush made of feathers
painting pictures of words
all that I see
each word a twin of itself
telling two stories
at the same time
one of sorrow
the other hope