Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote

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Book Information

Illustrator
Publisher
Peachtree 2017
Country
Curriculum
Character-Building Curriculum

Everyone knows the story of Don Quixote, the man who tilted at windmills and his faithful friend, Sancho Panza on their quest to make the world a better place. But where did this story come from? Who was the man who imagined this character?

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was the son of a minor nobleman who made his living as a barber-surgeon.  His family moved from city to city across Spain as his father gambled away the little money he made one step ahead of debtor's prison.

Miguel grew up in poverty and disappointment. He used his imagination to create a hero in his mind who would right all the wrongs of the world.

This is Miguel's life story told in a series of poems each with a title that describes a part of his journey: "School," "Comfort, " "Starting Over," "If Only, " "Disaster."

Told in from a fictional first person point of view these poems give us the sense of the pain and the hopes of this young boy who went on to give the world such an exceptional and powerful story.

The illustrations by Raul Colon blend the hopeful, imaginative mind of the boy set against the hardships of his family life and the limitations of life centuries ago.

Miguel de Cervantes gave us the first book written in the Western culture that featured an imaginary character in a realistic setting, Don Quixote the man who tilted at windmills and his trusty friend, Sancho Panza.  He has been called the father of the novel.

32 pages             978-1561458561    Ages 6-10

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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"Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra finds refuge from his difficult childhood by imagining the adventures of a brave but clumsy knight.

This fictionalized first-person biography in verse of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra follows the early years of the child who grows up to pen Don Quixote, the first modern novel. The son of a gambling, vagabond barber-surgeon, Miguel looks to his own imagination for an escape from his family's troubles and finds comfort in his colorful daydreams. At a time when access to books is limited and imaginative books are considered evil, Miguel is inspired by storytellers and wandering actors who perform during festivals. He longs to tell stories of his own. When Miguel is nineteen, four of his poems are published, launching the career of one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language.

Award-winning author Margarita Engle's distinctive picture book depiction of the childhood of the father of the modern novel, told in a series of free verse poems, is enhanced by Raúl Colón's stunning illustrations. Backmatter includes a note from both the author and illustrator as well as additional information on Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote."--from the publisher

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