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Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean…

Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck (2011)

by Margarita Engle

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An interesting story about pirates in the Caribbean and boy who became a pirate's slave. It is told in verse -- not what I typically think of as poetry, but it flows easily. The boy, Quebrado, is half islander from his mother, and half outsider from his father. He speaks both the Taíno Indian language and Spanish, and so is valuable to the pirate captain, Bernardino de Talavera.
  rachel.mcconville | Jun 27, 2016 |
Story of the first Caribbean pirate shipwreck told in poetry through the perspective of five different main characters. The story also contains a Cuban folk tale involving Narido and Caucubu.
  tracybeggs | Jul 29, 2015 |
Engle uses poetic narrative to tell this historical fiction story of Cuba's first pirate, his slave, and a hostage when all are shipwrecked on the island. Weaving in a love story as well as tales of slavery, Engle manages to portray the simplistic life of the Taino Indians on Cuba before all was ruined by the Conquistadores of Spain. ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
This short novel written in verse tells the story of a boy who is captured and forced to be a slave aboard a pirate ship. The ship is destroyed in a hurricane, but he is saved by a kind villager. Quebrado can speak both Spanish and Taino. When his captors end up in the same village, he is able to tell the villagers what kind of people they are- they are then banished from the community. Quebrado searches for his identity throughout the novel and, at the end, he is happy and finally at peace. The novel is told from multiple narratives which makes it more interesting. This would be an interesting novel to use when studying the brutal Spanish conquest of the Americas. ( )
  SuPendleton | Jul 6, 2014 |
I really enjoy her books and keep reading them. It could just be that they are set in a place I'd enjoy visiting, but also because they contain deeper truths. They show independence and what making your own choices looks like.

"If unlike metals can merge,
why not people?"

"My quiet voice feels
like a small canoe
gliding back and forth
between worlds
made of words." ( )
  GR8inD8N | Mar 8, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805092404, Hardcover)

Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado—half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother’s Taíno Indian language and his father’s Spanish.

But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

Quebrado has been a slave on captain Bernadino de Talavera's pirate ship for years, but when a hurricane sinks the ship and kills most of the crew, Quebrado escapes to safety and finds acceptance and refuge in a nearby village.

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