Miguel's Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote
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.
To escape from his troubling living situation and constant moving, Miguel dreams up the knight Don Quixote. He imagines all of the heroic things he would do and all the battles he would fight. No matter what stress came Miguel's way, he would think of his knight and feel better.
In the back of the book, we're taught that Miguel de Cervantes is well known in the Spanish and Latin American culture for creating the knight Don Quixote. MIGUEL'S BRAVE KNIGHT was an interesting take on how Don Quixote was developed.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to children eight and up who may be going through a hard time. Like Miguel, their imagination is strong and is a great way to cope with a difficult situations. I would also recommend it to fans of historical fiction and knights.