Forest World by Margarita Engle

Hi everyone, this week my review will take you to another part of our beautiful world. I hope you enjoy this lyrical read as much as I did because…well…it’s written slightly differently to your average middle-grade fiction story. So, take a break, have a seat, and get ready…

Forest World in yellow letters across branches of tree. below boy in orange tshirt and girl in purple tshirt hold glass jar. flowers in bushes below them.
A lyrical read

Title: Forest World

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Antheum Books for Young Readers; NY, 2017

ISBN: 9781481490573  (Hardcover)

What this book is about: Travel laws to Cuba have changed and people are allowed to visit their estranged families. Edver is being sent to Cuba to meet the father he barely knows since his mom thinks it’s time for some father-son bonding. Edver doesn’t know what this summer has in store, but he’s definitely not expecting to meet a sister he didn’t know existed! Luza is a year older and excited to see her little brother, until she realizes how different their lives have been.  While trying to find something in common, they sneak onto the internet – and accidentally catch the interest of a dangerous wildlife poacher. Edver has fought plenty of villains in video games. Now, to save the Cuban jungle they love, he and Luza are going to have to find a way to conquer a real villain! 

My review: Told entirely in verse, this delightful, lyrical story reads somewhat differently. Both Edver’s and Luza’s voices emerge as unique ones and the reader is left entranced in its beauty. This book took me some time to get used to but I found myself captivated by the descriptions of the Cuban jungle. Margarita Engle has found a way to bring stories to life with the images her poetry takes. Even if you have a reluctant reader, this will surely get them excited!! I loved everything once I was hooked!! I love how it told of those who dedicate their lives to protect the wilderness they call home. A great read!!

My rating: 4½⭐

Additional notes: Margarita Engle is an award-winning Cuban-American poet and writer of works for both children and young adults. Much like Gill Lewis, Engle’s books have a deep appreciation and knowledge of nature along with reflections of her Cuban heritage. I hope you can find others by her and read them too!!

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