Singing with Elephants

by Margarita Engle follows the story of 11-year-old Oriol, who moves from Cuba to California in 1947. At first, Oriol struggles to adjust to her new home: she’s grieving for her Abuelita, who died shortly after they moved to California, she’s teased in school for her accent, and she misses Cuba. But, that summer, Oriol gets to help out at her parents’ veterinary clinic and meets her neighbor, a mysterious, fascinating woman she calls la poeta. Based on the real-life poet Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, la poeta teaches Oriol that poetry can transcend her struggles with language. Singing with Elephants is a lyrical ode to poetry, animals, and friendship. (Chapter Books)