Marti's Song for Freedom = Marti Y Sus Versos Por La Libertad
Marti's Song for Freedom = Marti Y Sus Versos Por La Libertad
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Annotation: A bilingual biography of Jose Marti, who dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty for all men and women.
Catalog Number: #149914
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Vidal, Beatriz,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-89239-375-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-89239-375-6
Dewey: 468
LCCN: 2016047807
Dimensions: 24 x 29 cm.
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
Reviews:
Horn Book
Josi Martm was a poet and freedom fighter born during the Spanish colonization of Cuba in the nineteenth century; he would dedicate his life to abolishing slavery in Cuba and gaining Cuba's independence. Otheguy's verse is seamlessly combined with excerpts from Martm's own Versos sencillos. Vidal's folk artstyle gouache illustrations are soft yet evocative. A gorgeous bilingual tribute to the life of Cuba's hero-poet. Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
Weaving in work from poet and Cuban freedom fighter José Martí, Otheguy presents a sensitive portrayal of the revolutionary. Told in stanzas paired alongside Domínguez's Spanish translation, Martí's life story faces detailed, evocative full-page paintings, some painful (Martí witnessed the horrors of slavery), others celebratory. While the pale-skinned Cuban's life contained many contradictions and political subtleties, the book focuses on Martí's love of country and ties it in not only to his writing work, but to a more literal love of a homeland: his affinity for nature that continued even when he lived in the United States in exile. "In the Catskills, José splashed in the waterfalls, / hiked through the helecho, / the ferns that lined the paths, / and admired the thick bark of the oak trees," Otheguy writes. If the text sometimes feels workmanlike, it's only because the included bits of Martí's poetry are so strong and searing. "I've seen the wounded eagle / Fly to the clear blue sky, / And I've seen the snake lie dying / From its own poison, alone in its lair." While it doesn't paint the most detailed picture of who Martí was as a person, it conveys enough of his fervent belief in Cuba's independence and where those beliefs took him in life to make up for that. In bringing an important life back into the conversation during divided political times, this book spotlights a steadfast hero and brilliant writer still worth admiring today. (Picture book/biography. 7-12)
Publishers Weekly
Otheguy debuts with a bilingual story, written in gentle and measured verse, about activist José Martí, detailing his efforts to free Cuba from Spanish rule-and its people from slavery-by disseminating pamphlets and writing for newspapers. After being jailed and exiled to New York, Martí continued his campaign to liberate the Cuban people while finding solace in the Catskills: -the grass grew wild/ and seemed to whisper/ that Cuba still needed him.- Vidal (Little Bek Longtail Learns to Sleep) uses a subtle folk art style in her detailed gouache illustrations, creating people who resemble terra-cotta figurines. Excerpts from Martí-s Versos sencillos thoughtfully underscore this moving account of his crusade for justice. Ages 8-10. Author-s agent: Adriana Domínguez, Full Circle Literary. (July)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 25The life of poet, writer, and freedom fighter José Martí (185395) comes alive in this lyrical, bilingual retelling of his everlasting impact on the people of his native Cuba. Growing up, Martí was an admirer of nature and fell in love with the beauty of the Cuban countryside. As he traveled the landscape, he observed the cruel enslavement of the Cuban people on sugar plantations during the period of Spanish rule. When he saw the injustice of slavery in his homeland, he knew he had to fight for Cuba's independence and the freedom of the island's people. Inspired by the U.S. Civil War, and President Abraham Lincoln, Martí called others to action and was jailed by the government for doing so. But not even imprisonment could silence him. Martí traveled extensively throughout the world, spreading his message of social justice, freedom, and peace. During his exile from Cuba, he found inspiration in the natural beauty of the Catskill Mountains in New York. Here he wrote Versos sencillos, a collection of poems that came to define the struggle for Cuban independence. Otheguy pens this biography in a series of stanzas that mimic Martí's poetry, weaving together his vision of hope for the Cuban people with rich illustrations that pay homage to the vivid hues of his native land. VERDICT A sensitive and poignant tribute to one of Latin America's most important historical figures that will encourage readers of all ages to fight for freedom and peace.Natalie Braham, Denver Public Library
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Weaving in work from poet and Cuban freedom fighter José Martí, Otheguy presents a sensitive portrayal of the revolutionary. Told in stanzas paired alongside Domínguez's Spanish translation, Martí's life story faces detailed, evocative full-page paintings, some painful (Martí witnessed the horrors of slavery), others celebratory. While the pale-skinned Cuban's life contained many contradictions and political subtleties, the book focuses on Martí's love of country and ties it in not only to his writing work, but to a more literal love of a homeland: his affinity for nature that continued even when he lived in the United States in exile. "In the Catskills, José splashed in the waterfalls, / hiked through the helecho, / the ferns that lined the paths, / and admired the thick bark of the oak trees," Otheguy writes. If the text sometimes feels workmanlike, it's only because the included bits of Martí's poetry are so strong and searing. "I've seen the wounded eagle / Fly to the clear blue sky, / And I've seen the snake lie dying / From its own poison, alone in its lair." While it doesn't paint the most detailed picture of who Martí was as a person, it conveys enough of his fervent belief in Cuba's independence and where those beliefs took him in life to make up for that. In bringing an important life back into the conversation during divided political times, this book spotlights a steadfast hero and brilliant writer still worth admiring today. (Picture book/biography. 7-12)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Cuban poet and political activist José Martí witnessed an injustice at a young age and gave his life trying to right that wrong. He opposed slavery in Cuba and knew that the only way to end it would be to free Cuba from Spain's rule. Cuban American author Otheguy illuminates the life of a young man endeavoring to make a difference, through affecting bilingual verses that make Cuba's complicated history with slavery and colonialism accessible to young readers. By incorporating excerpts of Martí's writing into the narration, Otheguy introduces a new generation of readers to an important champion of human rights. Vidal's gouache artwork captures the beauty and the injustice of which Martí wrote, showcasing his country's vibrant colors, as in the pinks and oranges of the sunset, and illustrating the harsh treatment of enslaved Africans, who are shown performing backbreaking labor in sugarcane fields. Dominguez's excellent Spanish translation makes Martí's story available to a wide audience, and the text offers significant additional information via an afterword on Cuba's history, a selected bibliography, and excerpts from Martí's Versos sencillos. Otheguy and Vidal tell a timely story that will inspire many to fight for equality and sing songs for freedom.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 877
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 190740 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:8.5 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q71783
Lexile: 1000L
Guided Reading Level: W
Fountas & Pinnell: W

As a young boy, José Marti he traveled to the countryside of Cuba and fell in love with the natural beauty of the land. During this trip he also witnessed the cruelties of slavery on sugar plantations. From that moment, Martí began to fight for the abolishment of slavery and for Cuban independence from Spain through his writing. By age seventeen, he was declared an enemy of Spain and was forced to leave his beloved island. Marti traveled the world and eventually settled in New York City. But the longer he stayed away from his homeland, the sicker and weaker he became. On doctor's orders he traveled to the Catskill Mountains, where nature inspired him once again to fight for freedom. Here is a beautiful tribute to José Martí, written in verse with excerpts from his seminal work, Versos sencillos. He will always be remembered as a courageous fighter for freedom and peace among all men and women.


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