I, Juan de Pareja

Original Text: I, Juan de Pareja


Dear Sir/Madam:
I am privileged to be given a chance from the National Library Board to recommend a piece of literature which, in my opinion, is eligible for the Book of the Year* nomination. The title of this book is I, Juan de Pareja by Elisabeth Borton de Treviño. The next few paragraphs will explain to you the reasons of my choice.
Firstly, the plot was very interesting and well developed. This book was cleverly written to the point that it really seemed that a Spanish slave was narrating his life story. It depicts on his sufferings and survival during the plague period in his early life and the freedom that was eventually granted to him by his master after many years of servant hood. It also introduces the reader to the early Spanish culture, customs, traditional attire and lifestyle. An obvious distinction or gap between the royalty and the peasants was also mentioned in the story. The plot gave detailed accounts of his experiences during his childhood until his married life. The storyline is simple yet detailed.
Secondly, the book was entrancing. The book captivates the reader’s attention in such a way that the reader would want to continue reading the book over and over again. The author had even applied several Spanish phrases to further enhance the narration. She was generous in her use of vocabulary, which was descriptive and precise. The New York Times Book Review once commented,
“This brilliant novel captures and holds the attention from its rhythmic opening sentence—‘I, Juan de Pareja, was born into slavery’—all the way through to the end. . . . A splendid book, vivid, unforgettable.”
This book also succeeded in encapsulating the narrator’s feeling, thus being able to evoke the reader’s emotions.
Lastly, in my opinion, this story is a classic example in its attempt to focus on friendship and loyalty, compassion and love, which are applicable to youth of the 21st century. Today’s generation can very well learn from these qualities, to be able to go beyond of what is expected from one’s self. This is also a great book for children who appreciate art and painting.
If I were to grade the story, I would have graded it a four upon five. I sincerely hope you would consider nominating I, Juan de Pareja, for the upcoming award. Thank you for your kind attention and understanding.

Yours sincerely,
James Matthew Lao

Postscript. I have also included a page of statements of recognition from some people and newspapers.


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Revised Text:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am honored to be given the opportunity by the National Library Board to recommend a work of literature which, in my opinion, is suitable for the Book of the Year nomination. The title of this book is "I, Juan de Pareja" by Elisabeth Borton de Treviño. The following few paragraphs will explain the reasons for my choice.

First, the plot of the book was very interesting and well developed. It was cleverly written to the point that it really seemed that a Spanish slave was narrating his life story. It depicts his sufferings and survival during the plague period in his early life, and the freedom that was eventually granted him by his master, after many years of service. It also introduces the reader to the period Spanish culture, customs, traditional attire and lifestyle. The obvious distinction, or gap, between the royalty and the peasants was also brought out in the story. The plot gave detailed accounts of Juan de Pareja's experiences during his childhood, up to his married life. The storyline is simple yet detailed.

Secondly, the book was entrancing. The book captivates the reader’s attention in such a way that the reader would want to continue reading the book over and over again. The author even utilized several Spanish phrases to further enhance the narration. She was generous in her use of vocabulary, which was descriptive and precise. The New York Times Book Review commented, “This brilliant novel captures and holds the attention from its rhythmic opening sentence—‘I, Juan de Pareja, was born into slavery’—all the way through to the end. . . . A splendid book, vivid, unforgettable.”

This book also succeeded in encapsulating the narrator’s feelings, thus evoking the reader’s emotions.

Finally, in my opinion, this story is a classic example of focusing on friendship and loyalty, compassion and love, which are applicable to youth of the 21st century. Today’s generation could very well learn from these qualities, and to be able to go beyond what is expected. This is also a great book for children who appreciate art and painting.

If I were to grade the story, I would give it a four out of five. I sincerely hope you will consider nominating "I, Juan de Pareja" for the upcoming award. Thank you for your kind attention and understanding.

Yours sincerely,
James Matthew Lao

ps. I have also included a page of statements of recognition from some individuals and newspapers.

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