Drum Dream Girl

How One Girl's Courage
Changed Music

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

(published 3.31.2015) 48 pages

A True Tale
with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Margarita Engle
      and Illustrator: Rafael Lopez

C haracter: Milo Castro Zaldarriaga

verview from the jacket flap:

    "'Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music and rhythm, no one questioned that rule until the drum dream girl. She longed to play tall congas and small bongos and silvery, moon-bright timbales. She had to keep her dream quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that boys and girls should be free to drum and dream.
     Inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers. Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere."

T antalizing taste:

"When she walked under
wind-wavy palm trees
in a flower-bright park
she heard the whir of parrot wings
the clack of woodpecker beaks
the dancing tap of her own footsteps
and the comforting pat
of her own

and something more: The Historical Note at the back of the book explains the background for this inspiring poem: "In 1932 at the age of ten, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga performed with her older sisters as Anacaona, Cuba's first 'all-girl dance band.' Millo became a world-famous musician, playing alongside all the American jazz greats of the era. At age fifteen, she played her bongo drums at a New York birthday celebration for U.S president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, where she was enthusiastically cheered by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. There are now many female drummers in Cuba."  This wonderfully lyrical book certainly makes me hope I will someday hear female drummers, in person in Cuba!


Ms. O said...

That does sound interesting. My interest is piqued.

Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) said...

I love Margarita Engle. Her books always have such imagery and rhythm (even when they aren't verse). I cannot wait to read this one!!

Happy reading this week :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Kellee!

Yes, I agree. Her writing is beautiful. I think you'll enjoy the book!

Happy reading to you, too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

So glad to hear your interest is piqued (isn't that a great word?!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Cathy Ballou Mealey said...

I always enjoy your true tales and ACOT reviews! Can't believe I still haven't stopped to read this one. :-)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thank so much Cathy for the compliment! I really appreciate it. You'll enjoy this book I think. Thanks for stopping by!

Books4Learning said...

Of all the blogs I have visited, I still think your format is the most creative and effective for reviews. I am working on a multicultural children''s lit course right now, so I need to check this book out! Thanks for the review and suggestion.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Oh, that's so very kind of you to share your positive thoughts about my blog. I really appreciate it! And I'm thrilled to hear you're working on a multicultural children's lit course. I think you'll enjoy this book!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes, Kellee, I agree! Margarita Engle's books do have such imagery and rhythm. I like to type out her texts to capture her pacing and careful wording -- always inspirational as a writer!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hello to Ms. O Reads Books!

I'm always happy to hear a post piques interest.

thanks for stopping by!