YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2016/2017



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Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal
by Margarita Engle


YAL Presenter Unit 2016/2017

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2016, CCSS, Common Core State Standards
Unit Created by: Beverly Rowls


YAL Conference Workshop Description
Silenced Voices Heard Through Verse: Silver People: Voices of the Panama Canal
Beverly Rowls, Presenter

Who built the Panama Canal? Our history books present one perspective, but is the entire truth to be found in those history books? In Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal, Margarita Engle uses free verse to present the perspective of the thousands of black and brown people who performed the difficult, and often deadly, tasks of building the canal. This is the story of the people, and endangered rainforest inhabitants, who sacrificed to ensure American and European industries could easily move goods from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Ms. Engle created this verse novel to tell the story of the forgotten and unrecognized who made this canal possible. As readers, we witness the apartheid system where people of color performed the most dangerous tasks for pieces of silver, while the white workers were paid in gold. We are able to witness a different perspective on this historic event. Grade 7 and up. — Workshop Description for YAL 2016





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