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Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba Hardcover – March 31, 2009
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“This book is an outstanding choice for young people of all reading skills. Reluctant readers will be encouraged by the open layout and brief text, and everyone will be captivated by the eloquent poems and compelling characters.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
“Engle gracefully packs a lot of information into a spare and elegant narrative that will make this historical moment accessible to a wide range of readers.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Engle's tireless drive to give voice to the silenced in Cuban history provides fresh options for young readers.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“As in The Poet Slave of Cuba (2006) and The Surrender Tree (2008), both selected as Booklist Editors' Choice titles, Engle's latest book tells another story set in Cuba of those left out of the history books. In fluid, clear, free verse, two young people speak in alternating personal narratives...the international secrets make for a gripping story about refugees that becomes sharply focused through the viewpoint of the boy wrenched from home, haunted by the images of shattered glass and broken family.” ―Booklist
“This moving free-verse historical novel tells the tale of thirteen-year-old Daniel, a Jewish refugee who escapes Nazi Germany in 1939 in hopes of finding safety abroad…the emphasis on the inner life of the characters gives the narrative an emotional drama that transcends its period.” ―BCCB
“Readers who think they might not like a novel in verse will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly and smoothly the story flows...The book will provide great fodder for discussion of the Holocaust, self-reliance, ethnic and religious bias, and more.” ―VOYA
Top Customer Reviews
He was meant to wind up in New York. That was the plan.Read more ›
The poems are haunting in their imagery and honesty. Each character speaks with a distinctive voice. Although the story has some action, it is mostly a novel of character. The reader gets to know each character and watch as Daniel and Paloma change and grow. This book is highly recommended for middle school and high school students who want a different Holocaust story. A historical note at the end of the book puts the actual historical events in a context that will help young readers relate to the events in the story. For ages 12 and up. Susan Dubin