Sunday, May 4, 2014

Voices that must be heard

SILVER PEOPLE by Margarita Engle. HMH, 2014.

Newbery Honor Medalist Engle tells the story of the building of the Panama Canal in her latest novel in verse. Using voices of some of the workers (the silver people as they were paid with silver), some of the inhabitants of the forest that was being lost in the construction efforts, as well as some of the local voices. Alternating among these different perspectives, Engle provides readers an in-depth view of the issues surrounding the construction. The novel could easily be adapted as readers theater with students giving voice to the different characters of the novel.

Logical tie-ins include Engle's other books such as THE SURRENDER TREE, LIGHTNING DREAMER, and FIREFLY LETTERS. Consider building a unit or ladder with novels in verse to include Helen Frost, Eirann Corrigan, Paul Janeczko, and Sonya Sones.

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