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Commended for its treatment of disability, this is a beautifully written historical novel with a gripping plot, in which being different ultimately makes an already strong boy even stronger
17th-century Madrid is not a kind place for a dwarf like Bartolomé, and his family has to keep him hidden in a small back room. His dream is to be able to read and write, and when he hears that a dwarf like himself works in the King’s court, he is heartened, knowing that he could have the chance to make something of himself, too. Then a plan goes awfully wrong, and the king’s little daughter, the Infanta, sees Bartolomé and wants to have him as her “human dog.” Life in the royal palace is scary and humiliating—until Bartolomé discovers the artist’s studio. Colorful, gripping, and written with real warmth, this is an inspiring story of courage and hope.
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