Shannon's Reviews > The Dreamer

The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
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's review
Jul 02, 10

bookshelves: childrens, historical-fiction, juvenile-fiction, poetry, biography, writing, read-in-2010, favorites
Read from July 01 to 02, 2010

Pam Munoz Ryan's fictionalized account of poet Pablo Neruda's childhood is, in one simple word, magical. She lyrically and soulfully depicts the events and relationships that are the basis for the man Neftali would become. Peter Sis' stippled drawings are perfectly suited to the text -- full of whimsy and beauty and angst. (The green text and illustrations were a nice touch, as Neruda always wrote in green, it being the color of hope.) I'd be surprised if The Dreamer is not regarded as a classic in the future. I'd love for every child to read this -- it would be an inspiring introduction for young readers to a masterful writer and interesting and impressive person.

(I borrowed this from my library, but I will HAVE to own my own copy.)


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Quotes Shannon Liked

Pam Muñoz Ryan
“As their shoulders touched, the riverboat was no longer earthbound. With only the two of them aboard, it lifted into the sky, navigating a sea of white billows. The boy was the figurehead beneath the bowsprit, eyes searching for the way. Neftali was the paddle wheel, moving them forward as one ancient spirit.”
Pam Muñoz Ryan, The Dreamer

Pam Muñoz Ryan
“The words he had written wiggled off the page and escaped from the drawer. The letters stacked themselves, one on top of the other. Their towers reached higher and higher until they stood majestic and tall, surrounding Neftali in a city of promise.”
Pam Muñoz Ryan, The Dreamer

Pam Muñoz Ryan
“Although he had changed his name, his history came with him, even to his writing. The rhythm of his rain-soaked childhood became a sequence of words. His memories of the understory of the great forest burst into lyrical phrases, as resinous as the sap of a pinecone, as crisp as the shell of a beetle. Sentences grew long, then pulled up short, taking on the tempo of the waves upon the shore, or swayed gently, like the plaintive song of a lone harmonica. His fury became essays that pointed, stabbed, and burned. His convictions played out with the monotonous determination of a printing press. And his affections became poems, as warm and supple as the wool of a well-loved sheep.”
Pam Muñoz Ryan, The Dreamer

Reading Progress

07/02/2010 page 287

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