Best Books of the Year, School Library Journal
Children's Book Award, International Literacy Association (ILA)
Best Books, Kirkus Reviews
Junior Library Guild Selection
North American Academy of the Spanish Language Award, Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Espa ola
Am ricas Book Award, Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs
Choices, Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
A bilingual biography of Jos Mart , who dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty-abolishment of slavery, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence from colonialism for all Latinos. Written in verse with excerpts from Mart 's seminal work, Versos sencillos.
Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crece la palma,
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma.
As a boy, Jos Mart was inspired by the natural world. He found freedom in the river that rushed to the sea and peace in the palmas reales that swayed in the wind. Freedom, he believed, was the inherent right of all men and women. But his home island of Cuba was colonized by Spain, and some of the people were enslaved by rich landowners. Enraged, Mart took up his pen and fought against this oppression through his writings. By age seventeen, he was declared an enemy of Spain and forced to leave his beloved island.
Mart traveled the world, speaking out for Cuba's independence. But throughout his exile, he suffered from illness and homesickness. He found solace in New York's Catskill Mountains, where nature inspired him once again to fight for independence.
Written in verse, with excerpts from Mart 's seminal Versos sencillos, this book is a beautiful tribute to a brilliant political writer and courageous fighter of freedom for all men and women.