The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba

By: Margarita Engle

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.

ISBN: 9780805090826

JLG Release: May 2010


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Fredrika Bremer (1801-1865) , Women's rights , Cuba , Slavery , Pregnancy , Marriage , Freedom

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Awards & 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

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

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 d 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.

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, a

• 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.

Book Details

ISBN

9780805090826

First Release

May 2010

Genre

Historical fiction.

Dewey Classification

813/.54

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8"

Page Count

160

Accelerated Reader

Level 6.2; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Henry Holt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

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

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