The Blog

Anansesem Guest Post

  In honor of the anniversary of José Martí’s death at Dos Ríos and Cuban Independence, I wrote an article for my friends at Anansesem, a website focused on Caribbean children’s literature. Here’s a short excerpt: I knew from La edad de oro that the toughest themes can also be laced with magic and music….

Three Starred Reviews!

Booklist has just published a starred review of Martí’s Song for Freedom. They write, “Otheguy and Vidal tell a timely story that will inspire many to fight for equality and sing songs for freedom.” This is the THIRD starred review for Martí! You can read the full review at Booklist Online.

A Second Starred Review

Martí’s Song for Freedom has just received it’s second STARRED review, this one from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer writes, “Excerpts from Martí’s Versos sencillos thoughtfully underscore this moving account of his crusade for justice.” You can read the full review on the Publishers Weekly website. 

National Poetry Month Activity

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I visited my publisher Lee & Low’s blog yesterday to talk about José Martí’s poetry, and to share a bilingual activity. Parents and teachers, I hope you’ll give it a try with your kids! Click here to download the high-res activity sheets, and for the full blog post, visit Lee & Low’s…

A Starred Review

Last week the first review of MARTÍ’S SONG FOR FREEDOM was published, and it’s a starred review from Kirkus! The reviewer says, “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.” You can read the full review here.  MARTÍ…

A Visit to Lee & Low

When I graduated from college, a friend gave me a copy of Charlotte Zolotow’s SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN. It was a meaningful gift, because I had been studying children’s literature, and I love Zolotow. Her books always remind me of my childhood home, and the school librarian who set aside her books for me…

Cover Reveal!

  Here’s what I love about this cover: The palmas reales, the royal palms that to José Martí and to generations of Cubans after him have been the focus of love, longing, and devotion. When I think of childhood and family, I see the palm trees my grandmother painted, and I hear my parents, marking our drive from…

Beatriz Vidal to Illustrate

  I’m thrilled to learn that Beatriz Vidal will illustrate Martí’s Song for Freedom, forthcoming from Lee & Low Books in Spring 2017. See more examples of Beatriz’s work at!