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Juan Verdades

New Mexico Kids!

The title says it all – can a truthful man be made to lie? In a pueblo full of foolish men who enjoy gambling in the village plaza, wealthy ranchero Don Ignacio bets Don Arturo that Juan, his faithful foreman, will never lie. Juan’s real name is Juan Valdez, but everyone calls him Juan Verdades because he has never told a falsehood. Juan is caretaker of Don Ignacio’s fine apple tree, el manzano real, “the royal apple tree,” that produces the sweetest fruit in the countryside. The stakes are high whoever wins gets the other man’s ranch.

Juan has never lied before but his limits will be tested when he begins to fall for the bright and lively Araceli, who wants him to steal the apples so that her father, Don Arturo, wins the bet. Can Araceli get Juan Verdades to lie for the sake of love, or will he continue to be a truthful man?

Joseph Fiedler’s warm paintings make it easy to picture the people, the colorful dress, and the dusty village plaza. Written in both English and Spanish. It is a book that will be enjoyed in both languages by all ages, especially people who like the challenge of clever riddles.

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