I’ve read quite a few of Margarita Engle’s verse novels and more or less loved them all; she tells stories I know nothing about in language that sings. I think, however, that I’ve been too tired with the start of school to fully appreciate Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. The intertwined stories were engrossing, the ‘Forest’ sections brilliant, and the story as a whole simply amazing; it was difficult, however, to focus on the plot as easily as I usually do, because she evokes the setting so poetically. (I wish I’d read this at a time in my life that I wasn’t going to bed at midnight-ish and waking up before seven.) It’s a fascinating book, mind you, and it tells quite a different side of the story than I remember learning in junior high, but Engle’s verse novels are closer to the verse end of the spectrum than the novel end. Read this one and more–they’re fabulous–but try and read them when you’re at least partially rested.