...And Now Miguelby Joseph Krumgold, Jean Charlot (Illustrator)
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
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.
This is the story of a twelve-year-old Miguel Chavez, who yearns in his heart to go with the men of his family on a long and hard sheep drive to the Sangre de Cristo Mountainsuntil his prayer is finally answered, with a disturbing and dangerous exchange.
- Cover illustration by Chris Miles
- Interior illustrations by Jean Charlot
Read an Excerpt
It was love at first sight and I was astonished that it should be happening to me because the first sight had nothing in the least alluring about it. The roads from airports to cities rarely do. I was like a man who bewilders his friends by becoming infatuated with a particularly unprepossessing woman-warts and a squint and a harelip. 'What on earth does he see in her?' I've often wondered myself. What did I see in that dreary road which was taking me to Paris?
This sudden incomprehensible love affair might have been a little less mysterious if I had arrived in France with gooseflesh anticipations of romantic garrets and dangerous liaisons in them, the Latin Quarter and champagne at five francs a bottle, and artists' studios-all the preposterous sentimental paraphernalia from absinthe to midinettes. But I had not included any of these notions in my meagre luggage, I had no preliminary yearnings towards the country. Rather the contrary. In Australia I had spent much of my time with a young woman who had visited France just before the war and had gone down with a bad attack of what someone called 'French flu'. She babbled so fervently and persistently about France and Paris that she infected me with a perverse loathing for both.
The fact nonetheless inexplicably remains. A hundred yards from the airport we passed a café ('Le Looping', with the two o's aerobatically askew to make the point clear) and puppy love overwhelmed me-puppy love from which this old dog has not yet shaken himself free. 'Le Looping' and the handful of unremarkable customers sipping their drinks on the terrace instantaneously bewitched me.
I knew,with no rational justification, that I was in a country which for me was unlike any other country. It was as though some indigenous evangelist had caused me to be 'born again'.
One life abruptly ended and another began. There and then I shed my twenty-five years. To this day, in my own head and heart I am twenty-five years younger than the miserable reality.
The passengers in the airport bus were a drab lot. It was only eighteen months since the war had ended. There had not been much time to spruce up. In my besotted state, they seemed to me as fabulous as troubadours. The houses along the road were dismal little pavilions badly in need of a coat of paint. I gaped at them as if each one were the Chateau de Versailles. And in the distance the Eiffel Tower looked so impossibly like itself as depicted on a thousand postcards and a thousand amateur paintings that the sense of unreality which I had been feeling deepened still further.
What had brought me to Paris was my eagerness to visit a writer I had admired since my school days. He and his wife were to become two of my closest friends. We saw a great deal of each other in the years ahead-in Paris, in the South of France, in the Loire Valley. Of all the countless occasions on which we laughed together, argued, drank wine, loafed on a Mediterranean beach, listened to music, none was as sheerly magical as that first evening in Paris.
Our relationship took shape from the very beginning. We were already friends by the time we left their studio and strolled together down the Boulevard de Montparnasse. For some reason, twilight in Parts, then at least, was not like twilight in any other city. It enveloped you in a wonderful blue and golden luminosity and it had its own special unidentifiable perfume. That one-and-only twilight dreamily descending on us was so unlike anything I had known that I had my first vague glimpse of a mystery which was to become more and more apparent as time went by: Parts was the city of the unexpected. You always felt as though something extraordinary were about to happen. Sometimes it did, sometimes not; but the expectation never diminished. One went on waiting.
Twilight aside, most things were in short supply in 1947. Fortunately, the writer had been familiar with Paris for thirty years or more. He was already on the right sort of terms with the proprietor of an unassuming restaurant in one of the side streets. So we were served with a mixture of raw vegetables, a sorrel omelette (I can still recall the metallic taste of that sorrel) and, thanks to the proprietor's peasant brother, some wild duck. The wine was a muscular red with a powerful rasp to it but (a symptom of French flu?) I thought I had never drunk anything so delicious. It was served in cups as if we were in the prohibition speakeasy era because otherwise less privileged customers would have been clamouring for some and there wasn't any too much to be had.
Afterwards we walked back along the boulevard towards the studio. We stopped midway for a glass of brandy at the Dôme. Tourists had not yet ventured to return to Paris. The other customers on the terrace were all French, completely nondescript but fascinating because they were French. There were practically no cars on the roads. Those there were either had great charcoal-burning furnaces fixed to the back or carried dirigible-like bags of gas on their roofs. Every so often a fiacre went clip-clopping past. The air was almost startling pure. The stars were sharply visible in a translucent sky. I turned to the man at the next table and asked him for a light-speaking French for the first time in my life. I managed to make three ludicrous grammatical blunders in the course of that one short sentence. If he was amused by my linguistic ineptitude he was too polite to show it. La politesse francaise-that still existed, too.. . . And Now Miguel. Copyright © by Joseph Krumgold. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Joseph Krumgold received the Newbery Medal for ...And Now Miguel. One of the few people to receive the medal twice, he was subsequently awarded it for his novel Onion John,also available in a Harper Trophy edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Hello--That is NOT chapter one of And Now Miguel! This wonderful book begins as follows: "I am Miguel. Fore most people it does not make so much difference that I am Miguel. But for me, often, it is a very great trouble. . . . "
This book won the Newbery Award in 1954. It is about twelve-year-old Miguel Chavez who hope that this will be the year that he will get to go with the men of the Chavez family to take the sheep on the difficult drive to the Sangre de Christo Mountains. When his attempts to prove that he is ready go unnoticed he prays to San Ysidro, but when his prayer seems to be answered he is not sure that he is ready to pay the price. I had thought that the book was "historical fiction," perhaps set in early twentieth-century Mexico. In fact, it is set in New Mexico at a time fairly contemporary to its writing (of course, that is now "historical"!). There is very little overtly wrong with the book, other than a few references to smoking tobacco, drinking wine, gambling, and some sibling rivalry (fighting, pinching, lying). Of course, New Testament Christians would not approve of praying to the saints, but this can easily be explained as part of the culture of those people which we simply do not find in the Bible. My worst problem doing this as a read aloud was the fact that the story is told by Miguel in the language of a semi-literate, twelve-year-old Hispanic boy, and the grammar and the sentence structure often ended up getting my tongue all twisted up. And the Winner Is...: A Guide to Newbery Medal Winners From a Christian Perspective by Barb Brandes and Deb Ekstrand lists both positives and negatives for the book. Positively, one of them said, "I learned much about sheep raising in this book. Living in New Mexico in the early 1940's, the Chavez family is a Catholic, Mexican American family, with many intergenerational relationships where age is respected." Negatively, the reviewer wrote, "There is much ado about the annual festival honoring the patron saint of the village, and Miguel prays to the saint to have his wish granted. Protestant families may want to preview this, or read it aloud so that this aspect of the Catholic faith can be discussed." It is an interesting story, though perhaps a little slow-moving at times, and would make good reading to go along with a study of Hispanic American culture.
This book was required for me to read a school. I am a avid reader and usually dont dislike books but this one was a huge execption. The book was very difficult to stay focused in and got only a little better at the end. It took me 2 months to finish it because it was so boring that I didnt wasnt to read it! I usually read 230 pg novels in one day! My teacher even said that it was terrible and he said that he was sorrry we were requiered to read it! Aviod this book at all costs!
A boy wishes to do what the men do, and when he gets his wish he becomes...enlightened.
This is the story of a twelve-year-old Miguel Chavez, who yearns in his heart to go with the men of his family on a long and hard sheep drive to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains--until his prayer is finally answered, with a disturbing and dangerous exchange.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. The 1981 Newbery Medal winner.
it was slow paced at the beginning but was more interesting as miguel gets closer to his goal.
This book had a very slow beggining but it got better towards the end!!! It was a little confusing and slow paced. I honestly was more interested in what the other characters in the book did than in what Miguel was doing.
I learned a lot about sheep from this book. I especialy like how Miguel gets to number them. Miguel's conversation with his brother about God and the Saints is also very interesting.