for Young Readers
Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words
Simon & Schuster...
“beautifully written, thought provoking” (School Library Journal, starred review) novel in verse, award-winning author
Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of
African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who becomes a champion for civil
Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended
on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth
century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for
freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and near-enslaved Chinese indentured
servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.
So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his
richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets
Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots
in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice
all around them, the three friends are determined to prove that violence
is not the only way to gain liberty.
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