Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
by Margarita Engle; Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
HMH Books for Young Readers (March 31, 2015)
Biographical * Women Musicians * Cuba
IndieBound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.
Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.
My thoughts on the book:
First, let me admit, that I am possibly stretching the nonfiction boundaries today with this book. Some are calling this nonfiction and a picture book biography and others are calling it fiction and a story inspired by real life. I am simply calling it beautiful. Engle's poetic voice provides the music for Rafael Lopez's vibrant, energetic illustrations.
Margarita Engle beautifully shares a story inspired by Millo Castro Zaldarriaga's childhood. After my first read through on this book, I had to read it again, and then I needed to share it with others. This is one of my signs that it's a good book. Tonight, I will be sharing Drum Dream Girl with students and parents as part of Open House.
Margarita Engle is having a good year. Though I don't think she planned to have several books come out in the same year, picture books have their own release pattern. Authors write them and publishers send them off to illustrators and a couple of years later they finally make it into the hands of readers. Sometimes, many at one time. So far, three of her four new books have been released. Her fourth book, a long-form memoir in verse, releases in August of 2015. If you are interested in two additional books that stretch the definition of nonfiction, check out Organutanka (Henry Holt & Co., 2015) and The Sky Painter (Two Lions, 2015).
Check out the official book trailer for Drum Dream Girl:
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