Tropical Secrets book cover

Square Fish

January 2018

$19.99 AU

216p pb

ISBN: 978-1250129819


fp April 2009

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees In Cuba

Margarita Engle

from the book...

Daniel has escaped Nazi Germany with nothing but a desperate dream that he might one day find his parents again. But that golden land called New York has turned away his ship full of refugees, and Daniel finds himself in Cuba.

As the tropical island begins to work its magic on him, the young refugee befriends a local girl with some painful secrets of her own. Yet even in Cuba, the Nazi darkness is never far away . . .

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


Tropical Secrets, by Margarita Engle, is about a young boy named Daniel who tries to escape Nazi Germany to New York; however, his ship is rejected in the New York harbour and he finds himself in Cuba. This novel tells us about his trials and troubles fitting in, finding a home, and waiting in hope for his parents.

Tropical Secrets is a realistic novel, and would most appeal to 15-25-year olds, as it is written in poem and is based on a sensitive topic. The novel shares the experience of a Jew escaping Germany. It covers the trials, pains, and hopes he went through.

I really liked the format of the novel and how it was written in verse. I like how it added more in-depth meaning than what you would otherwise get if written in prose. I loved reading about someone’s story who managed to leave and is waiting for their family. I also loved how the perspective changed between characters, showing us a unique perspective on the vents. The novel is pretty easy to read, however, because of the way it is written, more thought is required. If you like this novel, I strongly recommend Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo.

Kimberley, age 15

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