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Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck    by Margarita Engle order for
Hurricane Dancers
by Margarita Engle
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

In Hurricane Dancers, Margarita Engle takes an old and forgotten piece of history and weaves it into a poetry novel. Through enchanting verses, she tells the story of 'The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck'.

Our main narrator is a boy called Quebrado, 'the broken one'. He is a slave to Bernardine de Talavera, the very first pirate in the Caribbean. Shortly after they capture the ruthless Alonso de Ojeda, a hurricane destroys their ship. Quebrado is rescued by Ciboney fisherman Naridó and taken to live among the Ciboney people and experience life on land once again.

This is a beautiful story and very easy to read. Although the tale is told through multiple narrators - Quebrado, Talavera, Ojeda, Naridó, and Naridó's beloved, Caucubú - the poems easily bring out each character's individuality. All in all, Margartia Engle's Hurricane Dancers is a stunning tale of a snippet of history that reads at the speed of wind.

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