The Dreamer
Sunday, May 20, 2012
by: Eileen K. Bosch

Section: Young Adult Book Reviews

April 2010 Newsletter

Reviewed by Eileen K. Bosch, Teacher Education Librarian, California State University, Long Beach, California.

Neftalí Reyes is a shy Chilean boy wh oloves to collect mementos, daydream, and write. But,hekeeps these passions a secret from his authoritarian and abusive fatherwho constantly ridicules Neftalí for being weak. The boy’s fathe ralso believes that writing is for fools and wants Neftalí to become a doctor, not a writer. As a result, Neftalí grows very lonely and sad until his Tío Orlando gives him the much needed support and encouragement to find his own voice as a writer. Eventually with the help ofhis Mamadre (stepmom), Rodolfo (brother), and Luarita (sister), Neftalí is able to grow stronger and overcome his father’s wishes by becoming one the most influential writers of all times, Pablo Neruda. Peter Sís’ beautiful stippled drawings are carefully woven throughout the text (both rendered in green to mirror the color that Neruda used to pen his works) and capture Neftalí’s thoughts and dreams in a very lyrical way. Author’s note, a sampling of Neruda’s poetry, and source notes are provided at the end of the text, rounding out this magical work. Highly Recommended.  

The Dreamer. Pam Munoz Ryan. Illus. by Peter Sis. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010. 384 pp. $17.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0-439-26970-4. Grades 6 and up.


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