The Lightning Dreamer

The Lightning Dreamer

Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"This is the context for a splendid novel that celebrates one brave woman who rejected a constrained existence with enduring words that continue to sing of freedom." -- Booklist, starred review "An inspiring fictionalized verse biography of one of Cuba's most influential writers. . . . Fiery and engaging, a powerful portrait of the liberating power of art." -- Kirkus "In these poems, their longings for freedom, their fears, their loves, and their heartaches are elegantly crafted through images that make the island of Cuba and its people vividly real and connect them to the hearts of contemporary readers." -- Bulletin "A quick and powerful read worthy of addition to any collection. The verses speak of tolerance and acceptance beyond the context of this story." -- VOYA 4Q 2P M J S "Engle adds another superb title to her lengthening list of historical novels in verse. . . . This is a must-have for collections where Engle's other works are known and loved or for anyone in need of a comparative study to our own country's struggle with slavery." -- School Library Journal
"I find it so easy to forget / that I'm just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts." Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
ISBN: 9780547807478
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (192 pages)
Call Number: eBook


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

VaughanPLDianeB Feb 19, 2018

This work of free verse/prose poetry is such a captivating yet easy read that it will leave you genuinely curious about Cuba's past. It piqued my curiosity to investigate details about the long period of Cuban slavery, as well as the abolitionist poets who risked themselves for the cause of free expression. A great introduction for young teens to read more from the historical fiction genre. It also bears the seal of the Pura Belpre Honor -- a distinction given to Latino/Latina authors who best portray the Latino cultural experience.

Feb 04, 2014

Spanish girl 13 turning 14 and must marry. In the 1800s women and slaves have no power. Yet a simple love story hovers in the background. She struggles to accept this. Would open up nice discussion on vaule of freedoms people now have, along with voting. However all thru the book, I kept thinking WHYYYYYYYY wasn't this a novel??! Poetry form is very nicely and beautifully written. However it felt choppy; just as you would understand the point of view, it changes into a new poem. It is short, but its not something to rush through, instead something to take your time to enjoy. I think people who used to write or ever wanted to, will be inspired to try again to paint with words. Nice history back story at end also some gorgeous bilingual poetry.

saqwerty123 Feb 01, 2014

This is an amazing book, written so well with so much feeling. Each word has a meaning of its own. Deep, but not in a confusing way. It's a quick read because of the poem form it is written in, but very refreshing. Very talented author.

Jun 04, 2013

A very inspiring book to those who would like to be poets. This is an outstanding book!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at DCL

To Top