(Clovis, Calif.)–A Book Barn in Clovis will host multiple award-winning author, Margarita Engle, for a book reading and signing on Sat. March 24. The event will celebrate the release of Engle’s newest title The Wild Book. It will last from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will include the opportunity to meet the author, listen to an excerpt from her book and have books signed. The Wild Book will be available for pre-order until Thurs. March 22. Copies will also be available to purchase at the event.

Engle, who was born in Los Angeles to a Cuban mother and American father spent her summers in Cuba where she developed a passion for tropical nature. This interest led her to study agronomy, botany and, eventually, creative writing. She has written many books, including six young adult historical novels written in verse. Among her titles are The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor book; Tropical Secrets, winner of the Sydney Taylor Award; and Pura Belpre honor books, The Firefly Letters and Hurricane Dancers. She has received a total of over 50 honors and awards for her six young adult novels and is also the recipient of the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino.

Engle’s young adult novels are influenced by her Cuban roots. Her newest title is no exception–it was inspired by stories told to Engle by her grandmother about her childhood. “It’s about her growing up on a farm in Cuba during troubled times in the early 1900s,” she said.

The Wild Book follows an eleven-year-old girl named Fefa as she struggles with dyslexia. As Fefa works to overcome her learning disability, she observes the struggles around her, including political strife, violence and kidnappings. The lyrical novel has received positive feedback, earning a starred review from Kirkus Reviews which states, “The author gives readers a portrait of a tumultuous period in Cuban history and skillfully integrates island flora, fauna and mythology into Fefa’s first-person tale.”

Her novels feature youths who are faced with seemingly hopeless situations but do their best to make positive and hopeful decisions. Through her writing, she uses a blend of imagination and reality as a tool to reach and communicate with young readers. Her use of lyrical writing and cultural details and imagery has also helped bridge the gap between cultures and provides a relatable way to look at places that might otherwise go unexplored, according to Nancy Algier, an avid reader and fan of Engle.

“She gives us insight into a world apart,” Algier said.

A Book Barn will be hosting the event inside the two-level bookstore located at 640 Clovis Avenue, Clovis Calif. 93612. More information and pre-orders of The Wild Book are available by calling Dan and Peggy Dunklee at 559-297-9052. More information about the author and her works is available at www.margaritaengle.com.

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