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Publisher's Summary

A lyrical biography of a Cuban slave who escaped to become a celebrated poet.

Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.

Powerful, haunting poems create a portrait of a life in which even the pain of slavery could not extinguish the capacity for hope.

©2006 Margarita Engle (P)2009 Listening Library

Featured Article: Explore Hispanic Heritage Month with 11 Audiobooks for Kids


Celebrate decades of bold storytelling by Latino authors that the whole family will love. From the ranches of Mexico to the United States Supreme Court, there's plenty to discover this National Hispanic Heritage Month. These stories feature contributions of Hispanic Americans and Latino authors from many Latin American countries. Listen to poetry together with your child. Hear stories from children's books packed with creativity and culture.

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