Drum Dream Girl

How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

by Margarita Engle

On Sale: 03/31/2015

Drum Dream Girl

How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

by Margarita Engle

illustrated by Rafael López

On Sale: 03/31/2015


Carnegie Medal

Georgia Children’s Book Award

School Library Journal Best Book

Land of Enchantment Book Award (New Mexico)

Kirkus Reviews Best Books

About the Book

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl.

In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

This beautiful picture book was recognized with a Pura Belpré Honor. A strong option for those interested in women's history and Hispanic History topics.

Critical Praise

"A beautiful account of a young girl's bravery and her important contribution toward gender equality in the creative arts."  — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The heroine’s tenacity in the face of naysayers will inspire all dreamers, and the illustrator’s smile-inducing cameo on the last page emphasizes the universality of Millo’s story...For those looking for more nonfiction titles about female musical powerhouses." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"The text and illustrations work together beautifully here, creating a story that will imbue readers with inspiration and a yearning to make music of their own."  — Booklist

"A valuable addition to the growing library of stories about strong Latina women."  — Publishers Weekly

"With its emphasis on artistry and visual metaphor, this title bears a strong kinship with Yuyi Morales’ Viva Frida, but it also brings an accessibility that young viewers (and teachers) will appreciate."  — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"Engle’s poetic text takes its cues from Zaldarriaga’s chosen instrument, its rhythm at times steadily assured and at others loose and improvisational...[E]very spread is full of motion, with some of the illustrations requiring a ninety-degree turn, as if the book itself has got to dance." — Horn Book Magazine

"Engle's poetic narrative combined with Lopez's warmly ethereal folk-art illustrations to evoke a nighttime tropical dreamscape."  — New York Times Book Review


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780544102293
  • ISBN 10: 0544102290
  • Imprint: Clarion Books
  • On Sale: 03/31/2015
  • Pages: 48
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • Ages: 4 to 7
  • BISAC1 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Caribbean & Latin America
  • BISAC4 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Music
  • BISAC5 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Activism & Volunteering
  • BISAC6 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Music / General
  • BISAC7 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage
  • BISAC8 : JUVENILE NONFICTION / Poetry / General

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