Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of many young adult verse novels about the island, including The Surrender Tree, which received the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino.  Her books have also received multiple Pura Belpré Awards and Honors, as well as three Américas Awards, and the Jane Addams Peace Award.

Margarita was trained as a botanist and agronomist, before becoming a full-time poet and novelist. Her most recent verse novel is Silver People, Voices From the Panama Canal, which combines history and rain forest biology.  Her picture books include Summer Birds, the Butterflies of Maria Merian, which was named a Kirkus Best Book, Amelia Bloomer Book, and NCTE Children’s Book Council Notable Book.

Margarita lives in central California, where she enjoys hiding in the Sierra Nevada forest to help train her husband’s wilderness search and rescue dogs.  This volunteer work served as the inspiration for her middle grade verse novel, Mountain Dog, and the picture book, When You Wander.