Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle

Hurrican DancersThis story involves a fierce hurricane at sea in the Caribbean in about 1509 when the Spanish were exploring and conquering the new world. A pirate ship goes down and the three survivors are a boy who had been taken captive and made to work on the ship, the pirate captain and his prisoner, the cruel governor of Venezuela who killed many natives and sold some into slavery. The boy called Quebrado by the pirate, finds a home with the Indians on the island where the hurricane has left him and warns them about the pirate and the governor. Quebrado also becomes a friend of a fisherman, Narido, and the girl he loves, Caucubu. Caucubu’s family want her to marry a powerful cacique but she and Narido have been close since they were both little and they want to marry.

The story is told in various voices and various viewpoints in free verse. It is a fast read and the language is very beautiful. The story weaves together the mystery and power of the Caribbean, history, and folklore. I recommend this to children who enjoy stories in verse and /or historical fiction. Recommended for grades 5-8.

Posted by: Fran

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