Sunday, January 22, 2006
The Legend of the Wandering King
Garcia, Laura Gallego. 2005. THE LEGEND OF THE WANDERING KING. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0439585562 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-9]
Set in pre-Islamic Arabia (5th to 6th century C.E.) THE LEGEND OF THE WANDERING KING follows the adventure quest and life journey of a young Arabian prince, Walid ibn Hujr, whose dreams of greatness are spoiled by his bitterness, jealousy, and rage. When his kingdom is falling apart and all seems lost, Walid is given another chance: a magic carpet—one that holds the answers to humanity’s past, present, and future—has been stolen. By beginning his quest to find the carpet and return it to its rightful owner, he hopes to redeem his own destiny and find peace. The journey is not easy, but step-by-step as he rides across the desert facing danger and death, Walid learns to replace his hatred, anger, and bitterness with honor, dignity, and perseverance. THE LEGEND OF THE WANDERING KING is an exciting adventure story that asks probing questions. Is there such a thing as fate? Can a man ever truly make amends for his past mistakes? Are we defined by our mistakes? Can a person really change his or her character?
First published in Spain in 2002, THE LEGEND OF THE WANDERING KING has been translated into English by Dan Bellm. It is rich in pre-Islamic Arabic culture and almost reads like a fairy tale full of adventure.
Draw “magic carpet” pictures or illustrate other exciting scenes in THE LEGEND OF THE WANDERING KING.
Explore several pre-Islamic poems from Arabia. An excellent site is the Medieval Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/640hangedpoems.html
Other books set in the Middle East
Beardwood, Mary. THE CHILDREN’S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF ARABIA. ISBN 190098833X
Fletcher, Susan. SHADOW SPINNER. ISBN 0689830513
McCaughrean, Geraldine. 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS. ISBN 0192750135
By Becky Laney