February 18, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle | SLJ Review

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redstarENGLE, Margarita. Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics. illus. by Rafael López. 48p. Holt. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780805098761.

NF-MHS-Engle-Bravo!Gr 4-7 –Engle highlights 18 Latinxs from a range of ethnic backgrounds and countries of origin, all of whom lived in what is now the United States or its territories. Each person made a positive impact on U.S. history, and although some are not well-known, their contributions warrant an important place in the U.S. collective cultural knowledge. Engle’s masterly first-person poems capture the essence of each individual, while notes about each figure at the end provide context to spur curiosity and further research. Additionally, the final celebratory poem features an additional 22 contemporary Latinxs in a crescendo to the present, ending with applause: “¡Bravo!” The pairing of these biographical poems with López’s distinctive artwork leaves a lasting visual impression, as the subjects, surrounded by images representing their vocations, look readers straight in the eye or are totally absorbed in their work. These full-page illustrations serve as bold counterparts to the poems. VERDICT Although lacking specific source notes for student readers and writers, this book is a welcome addition to schools and libraries, as it expands the canon of historically significant individuals in the United States in such a lyrical and aesthetically pleasing manner.–Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, Chicago, IL

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2017 issue.

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