The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom

The Surrender Tree Poems of Cuba s Struggle for Freedom It is Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness Rosa is a nurse but she dar

  • Title: The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom
  • Author: Margarita Engle
  • ISBN: 9780312608712
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Paperback
  • It is 1896 Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her.Black, white, Cuban, Spanish Rosa does her best for everyone Yet who caIt is 1896 Cuba has fought three wars for independence and still is not free People have been rounded up in reconcentration camps with too little food and too much illness Rosa is a nurse, but she dares not go to the camps So she turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her.Black, white, Cuban, Spanish Rosa does her best for everyone Yet who can heal a country so torn apart by war Acclaimed poet Margarita Engle has created another breathtaking portrait of Cuba.The Surrender Tree is a 2009 Newbery Honor Book, the winner of the 2009 Pura Belpre Medal for Narrative and the 2009 Bank Street Claudia Lewis Award, and a 2009 Bank Street Best Children s Book of the Year.

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    1 thought on “The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom”

    1. An evocative, emotional, but also often brave and optimistic verse-novel introduction to Cuban history and especially Cuba's rather violent and devastating struggle for independence, for freedom and sovereignty from Spain, Margarita Engle's The Surrender Tree (which won a Newbery Honour designation in 2009) not only features a lyrically beautiful text, the fact that the author shows the musings, the thoughts and actions of different players in the struggle for independence juxtaposed gives (or r [...]

    2. Cuba's three wars for independence are conveyed in expressive free verse. A variety of voices, from an angel of mercy nurse and her husband to a merciless solider known at Lieutenant Death; slaves, resistance fighters and refugees--all tell of Cuba's tragic nineteenth century quest to be free of Spanish colonial rule. The first concentration camps were created in Cuba during this time, a legacy of tyranny and slavery that carried from the Caribbean to South Africa to Central and Eastern Europe t [...]

    3. THE SURRENDER TREE is a book that's completely outside of my normal wheel house. It's historical fiction, written in verse form, about wars I knew absolutely nothing about. But it was so powerful. Each page (for the most part) follows one of the following characters: - Rosa: a freed slave healer - Jose: Rosa's husband, healer, and rebel - Lieutenant Death: a slavehunter- Silvia: an orphan and healer-in-trainingAnd it follows the characters through the Ten Years' War, Little War, and War of Indep [...]

    4. It's good to finally get a chance to read the most infamous of the 2009 Newbery Honor books, but I'm confused by at least one plot gap. Lieutenant Death just sort of fades away without much explanation. With his Javert like intent upon killing Rosa, why did that disappear? Shouldn't we have gotten some conclusion there? Still, a great little book. And admittedly I probably wouldn't have read it had it not been for the big shiny award it garnered.

    5. WOW! What a powerful story for such a little book.Using sparse, beautiful poems to chronicle a period in Cuba's struggle for independence, this story depicts the beauty of compassion and dignity as well as the ugliness of greed and hate. Margarita has created a story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page."Can it be true that freedom only exsistswhen it is a treasure,shared by all?"

    6. A historical novel in verse about three wars in Cuba around 1900s. Foreign involvement in domestic affairs is risky businesses! Just ask America and Spain. I’m so curious to learn more about this time period in Cuba.

    7. I'm not the biggest fan of novels in blank verse, but I do find this book to be useful.A three part history of 19th century Cuba, this book is told in brief poems, mainly through the voice of Rosa, a young natural healer, and Lt. Death, her nemesis, the slaveholder. The poems are occasionally gory (the slaveholder collects ears to count how many slaves he catches) and occasionally magical. They are all spare, blank verse.I'm not sure a teen would pick this up on their own, but it would make a go [...]

    8. The characters in this free verse poetry are actual historical figures during the three decades of war in Cuba from 1868-1898. I knew nothing of the Spanish occupation of Cuba and found this an interesting read to a bit of that history. Including one of the world's first concentration camps.

    9. You wouldn't think you would be able to learn so much from so few words! But not only are many details here, the emotion and depth of these characters shines through. This is a great way to learn some history and read some beautiful poetry at the same time. This made me want to learn more about Cuba's history. It definitely deserves the awards it has received.

    10. I enjoy books written in verse. This was a short book, quick read, and it taught me about Cuba's war for independence, which I knew next to nothing about.

    11. I listened to this collection of free verse telling of Cuban struggle for independence. It is told in various voices of very different personalities. Lots of slavery involved. One very special nurse/witch inspires.

    12. Rosa, a natural healer who doesn't charge for her services, helps victims of the war as Cuba fights for freedom in the 19th century. She is known as a natural healer by some and a "witch" by others. She marries Jose who joins her in natural healing as they both pass on knowledge to other free slaves like Silvia. Towards the end of the book, the fictional character, Silvia is introduced who has lost her whole family due to disease and the war. She learns from Rosa, and helps others in need. This [...]

    13. Set in the last half of the nineteenth century (1850-1900), The Surrender Tree traces the struggle of Cuba's freedom and independence movements. Told through multiple narrators (Rosa, Silvia, Jose, etc.), the poems are strong, vivid, and powerful. They capture the gritty hardships of a life lived on the run, in hiding. These freedom fighters and these nurses have a price on their head. They were especially hunted down by slavehunters. When the slavehunter brings back runaways he captures, he rec [...]

    14. • Book summary-This is a book of poems that follow the struggles of Rosa, a young girl who heals people with natural remedies. She was often viewed as a witch in the society. It was set during the nineteenth century and is a recollection of both Cubans and Spanish fighting over control of the island. Rosa writes about the runaway slaves and the slave hunters that go after them. Suddenly, Cuba is considered free and the slaves are freed. Though, the new found freedom did not last long. The Span [...]

    15. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle, tells the story of Cuba’s struggle for independence in the second half of the 19th century, through poems. Each page or poem tells a portion of the story, from the perspective of the different characters. Rosa and José are freed slaves trying to avoid the reconcentration camps, the military leaders, and the former slave catchers, while using Rosa’s skills as a natural healer to help those around them. As Cuba’s [...]

    16. This book was historically enlightening and captivating due to Engle's amazing use of language. The book is written in prose form and covers Cuba's struggle for freedom from 1850 to 1899. At first glance, I thought that the book might be difficult to understand since it was written in poem form; however, it was surprisingly fluid and so interesting that I could not put the book down. Each poem is told by a different character, hence a different perspective. Rosa is the main character and she is [...]

    17. Historical Fiction; Novel in VerseThis portrayal of Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain is told through alternating first-person poems. Characters both historical and composite include Rosa, a nurse who heals rebels and Spaniards alike using cures from nature; Jose, her husband and nurse; Lieutenant Death, a slave hunter; Captain-General Weyler of the Spanish military; and Silvia, a young girl who aspires to be a nurse. Engle weaves Spanish and English together to create terrible and bea [...]

    18. I read along with this story while listening to the CD. The book tells a fictional dramatization of historical figures struggling during the years of three wars for Cuba's independence from Spain. The story tracks Rosa's life. The book begins by describing how she fled to the woods to hide from soldiers and was taught how to use plants and nursing techniques to heal the wounded and sick while hiding the ill from soldiers, too. Then the story jumps a few years when Rosa is grown, and she marries [...]

    19. Title / Author / Publication Date: The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom. / Margarita Engle. / 2008.Genre: Young Adult Historical Nonfiction.Format: Book (in verse) - print. 169 pages.Plot summary:"Poems that explore Cuba's fight for independence follow Rosa, a nurse who turns hidden caves into hospitals for those who know how to find her, and who does her best to help everyone, with no regard to race or nationality" (NoveList).Considerations or precautions for readers adviso [...]

    20. This Newbery Honor Book, and winner of the Pura Belpre Medal by Margarita Engle is the account of Cuba's war for independence. The Surrender Tree takes you through the fight in verse stated by the characters living through it. Rosa, the healer who is hunted by Lieutenant Death, and her husband Jose along with their converted friend, secretly heal the slaves that flee and hide from the soldiers of Spain. The book dramatically takes you through the wars and perils of the refugees' struggle for ind [...]

    21. This is an interesting historical fiction book about Cuba. The three main characters are: Rosa, Jose, and Lieutenant Death. Rosa and Jose help the wounded during several of the wars that Cubans had fought in. Rosa is a nurse who uses natural remedies to help cure the sick and injured. Rosa doesn't discriminated when it comes to helping people. She helps all people. Jose is her husband and they work together to help those in need. They both are constantly on the move and hiding. Lieutenant Death [...]

    22. I picked this book up based on a recommendation from a fellow librarian, and it did not disappoint. I was really impressed with the poetry of this short history of the Cuban Civil Wars, which started in 1868 and went through 1899, though the actual start of the book was a little bit before that in 1850/51. The wars are seen through the eyes of a slave nurse called Rosa and later by her husband Jose, as well as through the eyes of a slave hunter named Lieutenant Death, Captain General Weyler of t [...]

    23. This Newberry Honor Book is a must read for insight into the history of Cuba's tragic struggles for freedom. The books' use of prose invites the reader to feel the pain of Rosa, the nurse and natural healer of Cubans and all the others from the Spanish army injured and sick during this long war. Her healing efforts were not selective as she worked endlessly to help. Cuba's reconcentration camps were the first in history and where Cubans died in hideous conditions.Engle organizes the book into ti [...]

    24. Newberry Honor 2009Pura Belpre Award 2009This story is the story of Cuba’s struggle for freedom during three wars in 1850-1900. It is told from the viewpoint of both the rebels and those hunting them down. Rosa learned healing methods young and together with her husband, Jose, heals the hurt and sick, even the enemy. Lieutenant Death tells of his hunt for Rosa and trying to kill her. He even gets injured to learn how she works, but it doesn’t help. The various points of view made the story i [...]

    25. Sort of like a YA version of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, in that it tells the story of a small nation (Cuba) suffering due to war and the people - especially women - who devote their skills and lives to subvert the war. Engle tells the story through poems that switch narratorial voice. Most are from the perspective of Rosa, the young healer who devotes her life to undoing the damage from the war, and grows old as the war goes on and on. Other poems are in the voice of her hu [...]

    26. A fascinating poetic account of Cuban history that is not addressed much in children's literature. It is a difficult to fully comprehend the span of years involved, especially in between the various wars, given the narrative format of the poetic snapshots. The American complicity at the end is certainly an eye-opener. I would have found it easier to follow the actual history if there had been some explanatory prose as an introduction to each part. Certainly more historical and fictional narrativ [...]

    27. In this award winning book by Martha Engel, we hear stories of Cuba's troubled past presented in poetic form. It does seem a little repetitive at times. Perhaps that is symbolic the struggles in Cuba for freedom. My criticism would be that I have very little background knowledge about Cuba. The chronology in the back of the book helps with that. If I had known it was there I would have read it first.Winner Americas AwardALA Best Book for Young AdultsBank Street College of Education Best BookNew [...]

    28. In beautiful, luscious verse Margarita Engle gives readers a look into the Cuban wars for independence through the eyes of a slave healer. Rosa, born a slave, learns the healing arts from her mother and uses plants in the jungle to heal rebel fighters while Cuba battles Spain for independence. I found it to be an accessible, interesting read well deserving of its Newbery honor. An author's note, historical note, chronology, and list of sources make me giddy with glee. Highly recommended for fans [...]

    29. Three wars and decades of history summed up through spare, evocative poetry told from the perspective of just a few characters. Engle does the seemingly impossible by making complicated foreign history accessible and compelling. Even though I knew how the Cuban revolutionary war eventually ended, I kept turning pages to find out Engle's version of how it ended.This is a great book, and more people should read it.

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