Annal: 2011 Pura Belpré Award for Narrative

Results of the Pura Belpré Award in the year 2011.

Book:The Dreamer (Ryan & Sís)

The Dreamer

Pam Muñoz Ryan, Peter Sís

From the time he is a young boy, Neftalí hears the call of a mysterious voice. Even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself, Neftalí knows he cannot ignore the call. Under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, he listens and he follows…Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.

Book:90 Miles to Havana

90 Miles to Havana

Enrique Flores-Galbis

When Julian’s parents make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away from Cuba to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation, the boys are thrust into a new world where bullies run rampant and it’s not always clear how best to protect themselves.

Book:The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba

The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba

Margarita Engle

The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika Bremer visits from Sweden in 1851 to learn about the people of this magical island, she is accompanied by Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her lost home in Africa. Soon Elena, the wealthy daughter of the house, sneaks out to join them. As the three women explore the lush countryside, they form a bond that breaks the barriers of language and culture.

In this quietly powerful new book, award-winning poet Margarita Engle paints a portrait of early women’s rights pioneer Fredrika Bremer and the journey to Cuba that transformed her life.

Book:¡Olé! Flamenco

¡Olé! Flamenco

George Ancona

Flamenco-it’s dancing, it’s singing, it’s guitar playing! It’s a way of expressing oneself that has evolved from many influences over hundreds of years. Today flamenco is practiced throughout the world and all across the United States.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, we meet Janira Cordova, the youngest member of a company studying to perform flamenco. Here the students learn the tools of their art-how to move their hands, arms, bodies, and feet to the traditional rhythms of the music and songs. Each aspect of flamenco is explored in detail. The origins of the art form are also explained, which draw upon the musical traditions of Indian, Arab, and North African cultures, among others.

Janira’s flamenco has progressed well, and at Santa Fe’s annual Spanish Market in July, she finally has a chance to join the older dancers and perform in the town plaza. With colorful, action-packed photographs and accessible text, readers are sure to feel Janira’s excitement and catch flamenco fever. ¡Olé!

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