Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold

Synopsis: He wanted to be treated like a man, not a child. Every summer the men of the Chavez family go on a long and difficult sheep drive to the mountains. All the men, that is, except for Miguel. All year long, twelve-year-old Miguel tries to prove that he, too, is up to the challenge'that he, too, is up to the challenge'that he, too is ready to take the sheep into his beloved Sangre de Cristo Mountains. When his deeds go unnoticed, he prays to San Ysidro, the saint for farmers everywhere. And his prayer is answered . . . but with devastating consequences. When you act like and adult but get treated like a child, what else can you do but keep your wishes secret and pray that they'll come true. (from the online description)

Review: Miguel is caught were most boys get caught - feeling like he's a man, but treated like a child. Having never been a young boy myself, I can't speak to the veracity of this, but my husband assured me this is normal. Honestly, this was a good book with a good message but it was slow-paced. Krumgold did an excellent job of showing Miguel's culture (New Mexican culture in the 1950s) and explaining sheep-farming and Mexican-American traditions. But over all, it just felt slow. And the end - the idea that the Miguel's prayer actually mattered, and his guilt over what getting his wish meant? Seemed a bit forced. However, I understand what Krumgold was trying to say and I think his point is important to know, particular for young boys who wish to be treated as men. It was also nice to have a non-white protagonist in a non-white setting. The enter cast of characters is Mexican-American, and this is important to me. I would recommend this to anyone with boys from age 7-12, but with the warning that it might be a bit slow for today's kids.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: Newbery Medal, 1954

ISBN: 978-0064401432
Date Finished: 7-26-2015
Pages: 256

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