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The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba



by
Margarita Engle

Edition
-
Publisher
Holt
Imprint
Henry Holt
ISBN
9780805090826

Awards and Honors
2011 ALA Notable Children’s Books, Older Readers; 2011 Amelia Bloomer List, Fiction, Middle Readers; IRA Notable Books for a Global Society 2011; Children's Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Children's Choices - Best Books of 2011, Historical Fiction, ages 12-14
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
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QTY
Out of stock

Fredrika is a Swedish feminist visiting Cuba. Cecilia is a slave working as Fredrika's translator. Elena is the twelve-year-old daughter of Cecilia's owner, already forced to think about marriage. As Fredrika, Cecilia, and Elena's lives converge, they discover a common goal: freedom and equality for everyone. Historical note. Author's note. References.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

160

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8"

Dewey

813/.54

AR

6.2: points 1

Lexile

NC1230L

Genre

Historical fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2010

Book Genres


Topics

Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865). Women's rights. Cuba. Slavery. Pregnancy. Marriage. Freedom.

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal

Junior Library Guild


• Intertwined plots about Cuba, women’s rights, and slavery provide a perfect opening for discussing politics, history, and culture—and how they’re related.
• The unusual setting and the fact that characters are based on real historical figures will pique readers’ interest.
• The characters are diverse and well-drawn, and each has a distinctive voice. Readers will surely find someone with whom they can identify.
• Margarita Engle’s clear writing makes the fast-paced plot easy to follow. The book has a compelling narrative thread, but it is also moving and emotionally deep, rewarding multiple readings.

Horn Book

This verse novel set in Cuba is based on the writing of Fredrika Bremer, a nineteenth-century Swedish feminist. In 1851 Bremer visited Cuba to interview slaves, free blacks, and poor whites. Engle expands Bremer's mentions of a young slave and invents the character of Elena, the slave-owner's daughter. Fictional Elena's story is thin, but Engle's deftly crafted narrative of historical fact is vibrant.

Praise & Reviews

Junior Library Guild


• Intertwined plots about Cuba, women’s rights, and slavery provide a perfect opening for discussing politics, history, and culture—and how they’re related.
• The unusual setting and the fact that characters are based on real historical figures will pique readers’ interest.
• The characters are diverse and well-drawn, and each has a distinctive voice. Readers will surely find someone with whom they can identify.
• Margarita Engle’s clear writing makes the fast-paced plot easy to follow. The book has a compelling narrative thread, but it is also moving and emotionally deep, rewarding multiple readings.

Horn Book

This verse novel set in Cuba is based on the writing of Fredrika Bremer, a nineteenth-century Swedish feminist. In 1851 Bremer visited Cuba to interview slaves, free blacks, and poor whites. Engle expands Bremer's mentions of a young slave and invents the character of Elena, the slave-owner's daughter. Fictional Elena's story is thin, but Engle's deftly crafted narrative of historical fact is vibrant.

Grades 6-9
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