Wild Dreamers

– Margarita Engle –

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Published 23 April 2024


Wild Dreamers is a story of two teens, both facing significant challenges in their lives and their chance meeting and magical connection. It’s a story of singing therapy dogs, treacherous water, broken hearts, fleeing for safety and trying to save a species of animals gravely impacted by humans.

Wild Dreamers is a sad story, yet with sparks of hope. The writing is lyrical and magical, befitting this charming novel in verse.

Ana and her mother are homeless, living in their car and constantly on the move to avoid Ana’s militant extremist father. Leandro and his family escaped Cuba on a raft but he struggles with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks ever since his father drowned on their voyage. When Ana and Leandro meet, their connect is instant, but meeting again seems uncertain. When they both start at new schools – the same school – they bond over their mission to save animals, including pumas.

It’s been a while since I read a novel in verse and it always surprises me how quick they are to read and how long it must take an author to find exactly the right words to convey the story in such a way. Poetry and story. A beautiful message and charming story. Lots to unpack with readers. Would make a great class novel.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young Adult Fiction, novel in verse.

Genre: Realistic fiction

Age guide: 12 and up

Themes: Romance, anxiety, science, nature, animals, family, relationships, therapy dogs.

Published:  23 April 2024 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, ebook. 224 pages.

ISBN: 9781665939751