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Hardcover, Scholastic Press, 2010, ISBN13 9780439269704, ISBN10 0439269709
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THE DREAMER  Publishers Weekly,Ryan's (Paint the Wind) wandering and imaginative prose and Sis's (The Wall) quietly haunting art fuse in this fictionalized account of Pablo Neruda's upbringing in the small town of Temuco, Chile. Precocious, terribly shy, and insightful, Neruda (known then by his birth name, Neftali Reyes) is curious about all facets of life, particularly the wonders of nature. "He stood, captivated, feeling small and insignificant, and at the same time as if he belonged to something much grander," writes Ryan when Neftali first sees the ocean. His role model is his uncle Orlando, who owns the local newspaper, but his domineering father has no patience for the boy's daydreaming and love of reading and writing, which ultimately provokes Neftali's passion for finding his own voice. Printed in green ink (as is the text), Sis's stippled illustrations provide surreal visual teasers for each chapter. Larger images pair with poetic questions ("Is fire born of words? Or are words born of fire?") that echo Neruda's The Book of Questions. Stressing "the importance of following dreams and staying determined," the book is an immaculately crafted and inspiring piece of magical realism. Ages 9-14. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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