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Martí's Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad (English and Spanish Edition) Hardcover – Illustrated, July 17, 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 59 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Weaving in work from poet and Cuban freedom fighter José Martí, Otheguy presents a sensitive portrayal of the revolutionary. Told in stanzas paired alongside Domínguez's Spanish translation, Martí's life story faces detailed, evocative full-page paintings, some painful (Martí witnessed the horrors of slavery), others celebratory. If the text sometimes feels workmanlike, it's only because the included bits of Martí's poetry are so strong and searing. In bringing an important life back into the conversation during divided political times, this book spotlights a steadfast hero and brilliant writer still worth admiring today. -- --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Cuban poet and political activist José Martí witnessed an injustice at a young age and gave his life trying to right that wrong. He opposed slavery in Cuba and knew that the only way to end it would be to free Cuba from Spain s rule. Cuban American author Otheguy illuminates the life of a young man endeavoring to make a difference through affecting bilingual verses, which make Cuba s complicated history with slavery and colonialism accessible to young readers. By incorporating excerpts of Marti s writing into the narration, Otheguy introduces a new generation of readers to an important champion of human rights. Vidal s gouache artwork captures the beauty and the injustice of which Martí wrote, showcasing his country s vibrant colors, as in the pinks and oranges of the sunset, and illustrating the harsh treatment of enslaved Africans, who are shown performing backbreaking labor in sugarcane fields. Dominguez s excellent Spanish translation makes Martí s story available to a wide audience, and the text offers significant additional information via an afterword on Cuba s history, a selected bibliography, and excerpts from Martí s Versos Sencillos. Otheguy and Vidal tell a timely story that will inspire many to fight for equality and sings songs for freedom. -- --Booklist, starred review

Otheguy debuts with a bilingual story, written in gentle and measured verse, about activist José Martí, detailing his efforts to free Cuba from Spanish rule and its people from slavery by disseminating pamphlets and writing for newspapers. After being jailed and exiled to New York, Martí continued his campaign to liberate the Cuban people while finding solace in the Catskills: the grass grew wild/ and seemed to whisper/ that Cuba still needed him. Vidal (Little Bek Longtail Learns to Sleep) uses a subtle folk art style in her detailed gouache illustrations, creating people who resemble terra-cotta figurines. Excerpts from Martí s Versos sencillos thoughtfully underscore this moving account of his crusade for justice. -- --Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the Author

EMMA OTHEGUY is a children's book author and a historian of Spain and colonial Latin America. She is a member of the Bank Street Writers Lab, and her short story "Fairies in Town" was awarded Magazine Merit Honors by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Otheguy lives with her husband in New York City. This is her picture book debut. You can find her online at emmaotheguy.com

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lee & Low Books; Bilingual edition (July 17, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English, Spanish
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0892393750
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0892393756
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 - 10 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1000L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 4
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 11 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 59 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
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