May Hill Arbuthnot

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 185

[… And Now Miguel], set in the sheepherding country of New Mexico, is one of the great books for children…. Miguel's goal is special—to become an expert sheepherder like the rest of the men in his family. But his problem is a universal one for twelve-year-olds…. The boy struggles to fulfill competently all the tasks of sheepherding that come his way, but he feels that he fails more frequently than he succeeds. He always measures himself by adult standards, and there is no part of the four-hundred-year-old skills in sheep care and breeding that Miguel does not love and strive to learn. This is a remarkable story on many counts—deep family love, pride in the family skills and work, passionate desire for independent achievement and competence, and a boy's love for his grown-up brother. The discussion of prayer between the two boys, Gabriel and Miguel, is unique in children's literature as is the rather subtle style in which this book is written. (p. 117)

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May Hill Arbuthnot, in her Children's Reading in the Home (copyright © 1969 by Scott, Foresman and Company; reprinted by permission), Scott, Foresman, 1969.

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