Courtney Canino's Reviews > The Dreamer

The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
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's review
Jul 15, 2012

Read in July, 2012

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan is the winner of a Pura Belpre award, the America's award and has a lexile level of 600, and an interest of 6th grade and after reading it, it would be best for middle school readers. The main characters are Neftalí Reyes, his step mother Mamadre, his older brother Rodolfo, and his father. The point of view is third person, and the setting is in Chile. The plot of this story is on the complex side which is why it would be best suited for middle school readers. The book begins with Neftalí being very sick and Mamadre taking care of him. Neftalí is very creative and imginative and often gets lost in the stories that he makes up in his mind. His step mother supports his creativity while his very strict father does not. His father believes it is all nonsense. Neftalí wants to become a writer like Mamadre's brother but of course his father wants him to become a worker just like him. Neftalí desperately wants to be accepted by his father, which is made even harder because Neftalí has a studder that his father is embarrassed of. One day he tags along with his father to work and his father lets him play in the woods while he works. Neftalí always finds something, like a bug or feather, that sparks his imagination and he begins to intensely day dream. The author shows this by creating a poem with every object that Neftalí finds fascinating. He does this every time his father takes him to work. When his father sees what he is doing he gets extremely embarrassed and punishes the boy. Neftalí decides that in his heart he truly wants to become a writer so he moves in with Orlando, Mamadre's brother who is a writer, and becomes one. He does however change his name so his father is no longer embarrassed. I would recommend this because it is very inspiring to see Neftalí's determination to become a writer. Personally I thought it was incredibly sad that Neftalí had to change his name because even though his father was ashamed Neftalí should not have been.

Concluding statement: Always follow your dreams, never ever stop.

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