I, Juan de Pereja
Published in 1965, I, Juan De Pereja was a worthy winner of The Newbery Medal. This book takes place in 17th-century Spain and is based on the real life of one of the greatest Spanish painters of the time period. The publisher’s description reads, “Told through the eyes of Velazquez’s slave and assistant, this vibrant novel depicts both the beauty and the cruelty of 17th-century Spain and tells the story of Juan, who was born a slave and died a respected artist.” The language is rich and the educational value is high.
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