Written by Margarita Engle
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Winged beings are meant to be free. And so are artists, but the Cuban government has criminalized any art that doesn’t meet their approval. Soleida and her parents protest this injustice with their secret sculpture garden of chained birds. Then a hurricane exposes the illegal art, and her parents are arrested.
Soleida escapes to Central America alone, joining the thousands of Cuban refugees stranded in Costa Rica while seeking asylum elsewhere. There she meets Dariel, a Cuban American boy whose enigmatic music enchants birds and animals—and Soleida.
Together they work to protect the environment and bring attention to the imprisoned artists in Cuba. Soon they discover that love isn’t about falling—it’s about soaring together to new heights. But wings can be fragile, and Soleida and Dariel come from different worlds. They are fighting for a better future—and the chance to be together.
Look for the Spanish edition, Alas salvajes.
Primary ISBN: 9781665926362
Publication Date: April 2023
Available As: Hardcover, Audiobook, eBook
Young Adult, Age 12 or older
Community Represented: Cuban/Cuban American
Themes: Activism, Animals, Audiobook, Coming of Age, Community Action, Cross-Group Dating, Cross-Group Friendship, Cultural Empowerment & Joy: Storytelling, Family Separation: By Detention, Genre: Poetry, Loss of Childhood, Multilingual Character, Own Voices/Lived Experience, Refugee Journey, Refugee: Persecution, The Arts, Trauma & Healing, Unaccompanied Minors, Welcoming by Individual
Setting: Cuba, Costa Rica
Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: Refugee
Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience
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