Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

byMargarita EngleIllustratorRudy Gutierrez

August 6, 2019|
Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle
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“Perfect for history buffs, dance enthusiasts, poets, and just about anyone looking for a great story.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

From the Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle comes a searing novel in verse about the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

Thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms beckons them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.

Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking the girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality the boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.

In soaring images and searing poems, this is the breathtaking story of what became known as the Zoot Suit Riots.
Margarita Engle is the Cuban American author of many books including the verse novels Your Heart, My Sky; With a Star in My Hand; The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner; and The Lightning Dreamer. Her verse memoirs include Soaring Earth and Enchanted Air, which received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor,...
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Title:Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots
Format:Paperback
Product dimensions:208 pages, 8.25 X 5.5 X 0.5 in
Shipping dimensions:208 pages, 8.25 X 5.5 X 0.5 in
Published:August 6, 2019
Publisher:Atheneum Books For Young Readers
Language:English
Appropriate for ages:12
ISBN - 13:9781534409446

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