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Reviews of Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle

Wings in the Wild

by Margarita Engle

Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle X
Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2023, 224 pages

    Paperback:
    Apr 2024, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo-Anne Blanco
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About this Book

Book Summary

This gorgeously romantic contemporary novel-in-verse from award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the inspiring love story of two teens fighting for climate action and human rights.

Winged beings are meant to be free. And so are artists, but the Cuban government has criminalized any art that doesn't meet their approval. Soleida and her parents protest this injustice with their secret sculpture garden of chained birds. Then a hurricane exposes the illegal art, and her parents are arrested.

Soleida escapes to Central America alone, joining the thousands of Cuban refugees stranded in Costa Rica while seeking asylum elsewhere. There she meets Dariel, a Cuban American boy whose enigmatic music enchants birds and animals—and Soleida.

Together they work to protect the environment and bring attention to the imprisoned artists in Cuba. Soon they discover that love isn't about falling—it's about soaring together to new heights. But wings can be fragile, and Soleida and Dariel come from different worlds. They are fighting for a better future—and the chance to be together.




Sadly, the publisher was unable to provide an excerpt of this book.





Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. Describe Soleida when the book opens. What is her living situation? What matters to her? What does she worry about? Then describe her at the end of the novel in Costa Rica. What is she doing? What major changes have taken place in her life?
  2. Why doesn't Soleida get off the plane to be with her parents? How does she feel about her decision? Do you think she made the right choice? What might have happened to her if she'd stayed in Cuba?
  3. How did Soleida get to Costa Rica, and how did she come to be at Mireya's home? Why had she been with Vivi, and what happened to her? How did the journey change her emotionally?
  4. What are the problems Dariel sees in his life when he's first introduced in the novel? What does he see as the good things in his...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Written entirely in heartfelt, crystal-clear verse, Wings in the Wild takes the reader on a powerful emotional journey with two young people, who, despite the traumas and violence of their experiences, find strength and hope within themselves, joy and solace in their blossoming love for each other, and ingenuity and purpose in their determination to restore the beauty of the natural world being destroyed around them...continued

Full Review Members Only (573 words)

(Reviewed by Jo-Anne Blanco).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Luscious verse and beautiful descriptions of the flora and fauna bring attention to the impacts of the climate crisis and the urgent need for change. Inspiring and hopeful; young love and the call to action resonate.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Employing stunningly immersive verse and distinct alternating perspectives, Engle sets Soleida and Dariel's developing relationship against a backdrop of advocacy to present a profoundly romantic read that prioritizes topical issues, such as environmental and refugee crises, and political oppression of artists.

School Library Connection
This novel-in-verse exposes readers to the realities of Cuban refugees in South America and the persecution they faced in their home county...It is also a story of hope. Hope in a younger generation which is fighting for climate change and for reforestation. And, finally, it is a story of love...Highly Recommended.

Booklist
Pura Belpré winner Engle touches on topical climate and social issues in her newest verse novel, told from two viewpoints during 2018 and 2019... Drawing on their talents for music and art, both teens beautifully and uniquely express themselves as their romance unfolds amid real-world catastrophes. Readers will admire the determination of both young activists as they rebel to make the world a safer place to inhabit. A must-buy...

The Horn Book Magazine
Engle weaves a compelling love story balanced with an invitation to readers to consider the impact of climate change and the necessity for action now. She populates her poetry with vivid descriptions of many colorful bird species alongside lyrical references to musicians and poets giving us 'something magical and scientific / at the same time.'

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Cuban Refugees in Costa Rica

a view of San Jose, Costa RicaIn 1893, Cuban poet and revolutionary José Martí met for the first time with the exiled general Antonio Maceo Grajales in San José, Costa Rica. Martí, who had spent much of his life in peripatetic exile, had founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party on 10th April, 1892, and Maceo had fought two failed wars fighting against Spain for Cuban independence. The general had been exiled, and granted refuge by Costa Rica, a country that had gained its independence from Spain in 1821 and was sympathetic to the Cuban cause. Maceo and his soldiers were granted land in the Nicoya Province on Costa Rica's Pacific coast and there, with other Cuban exiles, they founded an agricultural colony.

In Margarita Engle's novel Wings in ...

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Read-Alikes

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