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Download The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Margarita Engle
3.96 out of 53.96 out of 53.96 out of 53.96 out of 53.96 out of 5 3.96 (24 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margarita Engle Narrator: Yesenia Cabrero, Chris Nunez, Ozzie Rodriguez, Roberto Santana Publisher: Listening Library Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN:
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marissa | 2/5/2014

    " I would have never thought to write a book using poetry "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arlie | 1/31/2014

    " Interesting (and sad) story. Not super sold on the poetry format - may have liked it more if I hadn't read 'Your Own, Sylvia' already: the two seemed a little too similar. Still, a worthwhile read for high school students. The text is certainly accessible although the format is different. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Ramai | 1/19/2014

    " Pura Belpre "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elyse83 | 1/18/2014

    " Written in verse, this book follows the life of Juan Francisco Manzano. Manzano is a slave who can write and recite verses. His mother and the rest of his family have been freed. For his talent, he is not. Unfortunately, he is mistreated by his owner, a mistress who owns a sugar plantation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura5 | 1/12/2014

    " At the end of the book, Engle includes excerpts from poetry by Juan Francisco Manzano. She intruduces the poems explaining, "His verses show how he was determined to find beauty and goodness in a world filled with hideous cruelty." Her biography in verse does the same. Powerful, beautiful, sad and moving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 1/12/2014

    " This was an enlightening book, but sad to read due to the violent slave life he lived. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isis | 1/1/2014

    " i just luv da way she made poetry into a biography. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shuojin | 1/1/2014

    " I really enjoyed reading this book. It tells the story of Juan Francisco Manzano's life through poetry. The poetry was beautiful and descriptive. It is a beautiful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Long | 12/30/2013

    " This book came out of no where for me. It is one that really pulls you in and gets you to hope for the best. It is unbelievable how people can be so detached from reality and yet be surrounded by those who are not. Great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky Ward | 12/20/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. There were many times I just wanted to reach into the pages and rescue Juan. Definitely a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi | 10/9/2013

    " This book is hard to get through because of its intense subject matter--slavery. It is well-written, though, and sparks an interest in Cuban history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellee | 8/2/2013

    " Wonderful poetry! Also, the audiobook is excellent! Highly recommended for all audiences, though some of the descriptions of slavery might be disturbing to less mature elementary school students. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 12/26/2012

    " Knowing a little bit about Juan Francisco Manzano would have been helpful before beginning this biography in verse told by alternating narrators. But the poetry is beautiful and demands close attention. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 12/2/2012

    " Another YA book told in poetry that shares the life of Cuban poet, Juan Francisco Manzano. He lived as a slave in the late 1700's. His life and poetry share the blight and hope of life for Cuban slaves in that time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tressa | 9/17/2012

    " The Poet Slave of Cuba is a fictitious account of Juan Francisco Manzano's life. It is partially based upon his autobiography, but the full material did not survive. I liked Margarita Engle's extrapolation of the emotional depth and breadth of Juan and his experiences. The narration was excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 4/15/2012

    " A very quick read. Margarita Engle tells the historical fiction story of the Cuban poet-slave, Juan Francisco Manzano. She very cleverly tells his tale in poetic verse from the alternating perspectives of Juan, his mother, his owners, the overseer, and a friend (son of one of his owners). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 3/17/2012

    " Written entirely in verse, this was a different take on the story of a slave. Interesting background information and sources for further reading about Manzano are included in the back. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Denise | 3/3/2012

    " Beautifully written! Our children can learn about history and culture through this wonderfully woven story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Miller | 10/31/2011

    " This is a beautifully written biography told in the form of poetry. The book explores multiple sides of a complex story. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys biography, memoir, and/or poetry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/4/2011

    " This is a gorgeous little book, with a great story told through poems.

    Really, it's a quick read, with unbelievably wonderful lines and phrases. More than once, I caught myself repeating aloud what had just been read.

    Good stuff that is well worth your time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marissa | 5/2/2011

    " I would have never thought to write a book using poetry "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arlie | 1/12/2011

    " Interesting (and sad) story. Not super sold on the poetry format - may have liked it more if I hadn't read 'Your Own, Sylvia' already: the two seemed a little too similar. Still, a worthwhile read for high school students. The text is certainly accessible although the format is different. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ci546_Ali Cullerton | 11/20/2010

    " Margarita Engle tells the haunting story of a brilliant and tortured boy, Juan Francisco Manzano, in this breathtaking collection of poems. The language use and voice of the narrative pays homage to everything about life that Manzano was able to love, even under his brutal living conditions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randi | 9/26/2010

    " Do we take our freedom for granted? This Incredible story about Cuban poet Juan Francisco Manzano is told in free verse. "

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About the Author
Author Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet, novelist, and journalist whose work has been published in many countries. Her books include the critically acclaimed The Poet Slave of Cuba, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Bank Street College of Education Best Book, and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon book, among other honors.