- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 20, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547581319
- ISBN-13: 978-0547581316
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,613,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wild Book Hardcover – March 20, 2012
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A Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2012
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book
* "A beautiful tale of perseverance."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Readers will be enchanted."—VOYA
"[A] lyrical glimpse of early twentieth-century Cuba."—Booklist
"Engle’s writing is customarily lovely."—Publishers Weekly
"[A] remarkable, intimate depiction of Fefa's struggle with dyslexia; Engle is masterful at using words to evoke this difficulty, and even those readers unfamiliar with the condition will understand its meaning through her rich use of imagery and detail."—Bulletin
"The idea of a wild book on which to let her words sprout is one that should speak to those with reading difficulties and to aspiring poets as well."—School Library Journal
About the Author
Margarita Engle is the award-winning author of the Newbery Honor book The Surrender Tree, as well as The Poet Slave of Cuba, Tropical Secrets, The Firefly Letters, and Hurricane Dancers. She lives with her husband in Northern California. Visit her at www.margaritaengle.com.
Top customer reviews
Fefa is dyslexic. Reading makes her feel dizzy. She has never been a great fan of words, the letters get mixed up and make her feel anxious. The doctor has diagnosed 'word blindness'.
"Some children can see everything except words.
They are only blind on paper" he says.
Fefa's mother refuses to accept his verdict.
"Seeds of learning grow slowly" she assures me.
She presents her daughter with a book and encourages her:
"Think of this little book as a garden, throw wild flower seeds all over each page, let the words sprout like seedlings and then relax and watch as your wild diary grows."
Fefa opens the book hesitantly, finds the pages blank within but wide open to her imagination, a place where she can write unobserved, in any way she wishes.
Soon Fefa is nurturing the slow transforming pages of her wild book as she would a precious flower garden, turning those awkward spiky, complex letters into words of beauty and importance.
Margarita Engle's delightful 'The Wild Book' is a tribute in verse inspired by stories told to her by her maternal grandmother, a young girl growing up in rural Cuba, struggling with dyslexia. It will be enjoyed by readers of all ages, both those who struggle with and those who adore words and of course, lovers of the blank page journal everywhere. It is a book to read and reread, silently and out loud.
"No one in my family ever throws anything away, not even an old story that can be told and retold late at night, to make the deep darkness feel a little less lonely."
It is a magical story of a little girl coping with school, homework, older brothers, being left behind as the others go off to boarding school, of facing family threats and danger; all part of daily life on the farm and in the village, aided by a loving mother and uncle who love to recite poetry.
Now couldn't we all do with a wild book...
Anyway, the author has written this book for a younger audience. It's layout is based on a volume of poetry. The poems are easy to read and understand which is even easier for older audiences. I'm not a fan of poetry in the first place but I found this book to be refreshingly easy.
The author and the subject, Fefa, are inspired poets themselves. Even Fefa's mother was a poet who got married and bore many children. The stories in this book are a combination of delightful, interesting, suspenseful, frightening, and even comical at times.
For anybody interested in Cuban literature particularly the diaspora poetry, this book would be an interest for those studying about Cuban life. For anybody with dyslexia, they might be inspired to know how dyslexics were treated a century ago in Cuba.
It's a nice book and great for a children's library at your school.
As Fefa writes in her 'wild book', she describes how her classmates and siblings taunt her for not being able to read like they do.
Fefa describes the kidnappings and shootings that were taking place during that time in Cuba. As the story flows, Fefa's reading and writing skills wind up coming in very handy when her siblings are in danger.
This is a sweet little story that delivers a nice message as well, you can overcome obstacles in life. I like the cover also.
This book was actually inspired by author Margarita Engle's grandmother's childhood years. Engle's grandmother would tell her stories about growing up in Cuba.