The Firefly Letters

The Firefly Letters

by Margarita Engle

A powerful novel in verse about an early women’s rights pioneer and the journey to Cuba that transformed her life.

When Fredrika Bremer asked the Swedish Consulate to find her a quiet home in the Cuban countryside, she expected a rustic thatched hut, not this luxurious mansion in Matanzas, where Elena, the daughter of the house, can barely step foot outside.

The freedom to roam is something that women and girls in Cuba do not have. Yet when Fredrika sets off to learn about the people of this magical island, she is accompanied by Cecilia, a young slave who longs for her lost home in Africa. Soon Elena sneaks out of the house to join them. As the three women explore the lush countryside, they form a bond that breaks the barriers of language and culture.

In this quietly powerful new book, which is young adult historical fiction based on a true story, award-winning poet Margarita Engle paints a portrait of early women’s rights pioneer Fredrika Bremer and the journey to Cuba that transformed her life.

The Firefly Letters is a story about a little-known early feminist. It’s a Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative and a Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year, by Margarita Engle, the Newbery Honor winning author of The Surrender Tree, The Poet Slave of Cuba, Hurricane Dancers, Tropical Secrets, and many other books.


Ages: 10-up
ISBN: 9781250110961
Price: $9.99
Published by: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

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