The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's greatest abolitionist

2013

At thirteen, Tula wonders "how many slaves / Mama will buy with the money / she gains by marrying me to / the highest bidder." Loosely based on the early life of the Cuban novelist and human rights advocate Gertrudis Gmez de Avellaneda (1814-73) who was nicknamed Tula, this novel in verse follows her through a dangerous open rebellion against 19th century slavery in Cuba and a personal fight to resist an arranged marriage.  During this time in Cuban history, the most open rebels were poets like Gmez de Avellaneda. This award winning novel is recommended for grade 6 and up and would pair well with books like Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan.

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