Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan

dreamer The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan
Scholastic Press
April 2010
372 pgs.

A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.


  1. Wow! Neruda had so much to overcome. Ryan's writing grabs you and puts you in Neruda's place. When they are at the swimming hole, it's all I can do not to scream stop!

  2. Two dominant impressions of this book: as a parent it was painful to read about the abuse Neruda suffered in his childhood, the agonizing way his love for his father was eventually destroyed by cruel rigidity -- it seemed a manual for how to destroy a child's spirit. In the case of Neruda's brother, it worked, but somehow, miraculously, Neruda found the strength to remain true to himself, to nourish his dreams in spite of their impracticality. This is the ultimate impression I ended with: the power and importance of a child following his own inner voice, and what magic that can unleash in the world. I didn't "enjoy" much of this book, but it leaves me with many haunting and magical and beautiful memories.

  3. This was a powerhouse book. The writing was beautiful, incredible, and I found myself (against my will) listening to this--I played it in my car. It was so painful in places, but so true. And there's no need to know this is about a famous person--the humanity of his experience is worth the read.

    Could this one win? Yes. Would it be a popular Newbery? Probably not, but that's not the point.

  4. I loved this book. Just to imagine all the hardships this guy went through is... just...WOW! The Dreamer is a captivating book worth reading again and again. The characters are fascinating, the poems are mind-blowing, and the background is stunning. If you haven't read this book, YOU NEED TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!