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Shadow of a Bull

Shadow of a Bull

3.7 20
by Maia Wojciechowska

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"Manolo was the son of the great bullfighter Joan Olivar. Ever since his father's death the town of Arcangel has waited for when Manolo would be twelve and face his first bull. . . . A quiet style caps the explosive tension of this situation making it more intense."--Publishers Weekly.


"Manolo was the son of the great bullfighter Joan Olivar. Ever since his father's death the town of Arcangel has waited for when Manolo would be twelve and face his first bull. . . . A quiet style caps the explosive tension of this situation making it more intense."--Publishers Weekly.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
This reissue of the 1965 Newbery Award Book features an appealing cover showing a bull just as he passes the torero in the ring. A glossary of bullfighting terms appears in the back. The classic story of coming of age features Manolo Olivar and his struggle to overcome the expectations of everyone in his village and choose his own destiny. Manolo's father, one of the greatest tereros of all time, died in the ring when Manolo was only three years old and Manolo is expected to follow in his famous footsteps. When Manolo reaches his ninth birthday, six men in the town begin his training. They take him to bullfights and explain the moves. They are especially enamored with the honor exhibited in the sport. Manolo practices secretly, but he knows he has no desire to kill bulls. He would rather be a doctor. Manolo must make his stand and declare his intention when he is eleven years old. Young readers will identify with Manolo's soul searching struggle to claim his own identity, The many details of bullfighting may seem strange to readers unfamiliar with this sport, causing some to lose interest. Reading the book aloud in a classroom setting or by a parent with a child could provide opportunities for worthwhile discussions.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7--Haunted by the legend of his father, a world-famous bull fighter, 11-year-old Manolo Olivar searches for the courage to pursue his own dream. The characters in Maia Wojciechowska's Newbery Medal winning story (S&S, 1964, 1972) come vividly to life through Francisco Rivela's dramatic reading. His melodic voice and authentic Spanish accent draw listeners into Manolo's emotional struggle to remain faithful to himself while retaining the honor of his family and the respect of the townspeople who are looking to him to restore the glory that his father had once brought to their small Andalusian town. Readers unfamiliar with the Spanish terms for bullfighting techniques may find some of the passages hard to follow without consulting a dictionary (the original book included a glossary of terms). Wojciechowska's coming of age story, while set in surroundings unfamiliar to most Americans, will strike a responsive chord with young listeners facing their own issues about growing up, meeting others' expectations, and discovering that there are many different kinds of courage.--Cindy Lombardo, Ashland Public Library, OH
From the Publisher
"This book is a must.... Anyone who starts Shadow of a Bull will finish it in a single sitting."
New York Times

"It is hard to imagine a child...who would not be enthralled by this book."
New Yorker

Product Details

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
2nd Aladdin Books ed
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Maia Wojciechowska's family fled Poland during World War II and emigrated to the United States after the war. She worked as an undercover detective, a motorcycle racer, a translator for Radio Free Europe, and a bullfighter before turning to writing. She was a friend of Ernest Hemingway, who said she knew more about bullfighting than any other woman.

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Shadow of a Bull 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can someone be my friend? Plz!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will you Please My Valintine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for ages 10-13
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Set in the early 1900s, this 1965 Newbery Medal winner, is a coming of age story that tells about Manolo Olivar, who is the son of Spain's greatest bullfighter Juan Olivar and lives with his widowed mother in the village of Arcangel. Juan had begun his career at age twelve and been killed by a bull at age 22 when Manolo was just three. At age nine, Manolo became aware of three things: the older he grew, the more he looked like his father; he was a coward, afraid of cars, heights, and especially bulls; and everyone in town expected him to grow up to become a bullfighter like his father. Manolo is now almost twelve. Six men in town are grooming him for his first bullfight. Count de la Casa is even raising a special bull for Manolo. Manolo would really prefer to become a doctor, but he doesn't want to disappoint his family, friends, and fellow townspeople, so he begins secretly practicing at night with the cape of his grandfather, who had also been a bullfighter. His best friend Jaime Garcia, whose father had been a bullfighter too, has an older brother Juan who wants to be a bullfighter more than anything else so he secretly goes out at night to practice with real bulls. Manolo even sneaks out with Juan in an attempt to work up his courage. Yet, he continues to doubt his courage and offers Juan the opportunity to take his place, but Juan's honor forces him to refuse. Finally, the day of Manolo's first bullfight arrives. What will Manolo do? Anyone who is absolutely and unalterably opposed to bullfighting will not like this book. But even if bullfighting isn't your cup of tea, Shadow of a Bull is still a fascinating story about a boy who is becoming a man. The reader will learn a lot about bullfighting. In fact, there is a glossary that contains sixty words related to bullfighting. When I once posted a comment on a homeschooling e-mail list, "After around 1960 the A. L. A. quit giving the Newbery Medal for good children's fiction and began giving it for 'socially relevant' children's fiction," author Katy Jones responded. "Whereas this is mostly true, I found a notable exception in Maia Wojciechowska's Shadow of a Bull, which won the Newbery in 1965. I just read it while looking for good historical fiction for my some to read for world history/geography. This book depicts the bullfighting culture and helps the reader understand the Spanish people's various attitudes toward it (plus it's a good story with a sympathetic main character)." I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, i went to a program that made me read the book, and i couldn't put it down! If you are bored/have nothing to do, read this book!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't put into words how bad this was. The writing wasn't bad, but it was like describing paint drying on a wall... then showing there was no point in talking about the paint drying on the wall because the wall would end up crumbling over anyways! (you'll get what I'm saying when you read the book) Overall, it was boring and the resolution made you question the reason you read the book in the first place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, this book is not well written. Secondly, it was disgusting and pointless. And third, the storyline was not in the least bit interesting. How could this book have possibly won the Newbery Award?
Guest More than 1 year ago
a wonderful book and i reccomend it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was an awesome book to me!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to any young reader. This book is full of action and and surprise. A young boy named Juan wants to become a bull fighter and this book is about what he does and what comes out in the end!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed with this book. It was a little hard to understand in the beginning but got a little easier toward the end. I don't think the author focused the correct way on the main idea that the book was portraying. The reader is able to understand the main character's point of view but it doesn't seem to tie in with the world around him. I would not recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a okay book. Got very borring at times but was interesting. They kinda just sat around the whole book waiting for him to become a bull fighter. I didn't like the ending either. So if I were you, skip this book and read something else.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Shadow of a Bull was a good book but at times it would get boring but over all it is a very good interesting book with a very suspenceful story inside it all. I do recamend this book for others from 10yrs old to 15.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not a book worm and I hate books, but when I read this for a book report I loved it !!! It shows you that you can do anything you put your mind to! This is a book I would suggest to other readers to read even if you hate books like me !!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i don't read very much but i loved this book. it is the best book that i had ever read. if you don't read it you are missing out ona wonderful book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really didn't like this book. I found it very boring.I'm usually a big reader but I didn't like this one. I had to read it for school, and no one else in my english class liked it either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read it, you better consiter doing it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly heart breaking, but unspeakably wonderful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book starts off sad but as the book progresses you really want the boy to thrive and do well. If you want to read about a boy from Spain and fulfilling his fathers legend this is the book for you!