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THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan, Illustrated by Peter Sis

Posted in reviewku: plunder, middle grade, reviewku: poetry (all)


Verse, graphic, bio,

fantasy. Music. Voices.

Stutter. Poetry.


Nitty Gritty:

Middle grade (grades 4-9)

Historical fiction / fictionalized biography / magical realism / poetry

Main character – boy Neftali Reyes (later name change = Pablo Neruda)

Magical realism

Prose and poetry

Part verse novel, part graphic novel, part biography, part fantasy

Words and images merge

Emotionally powerful

Real person – famous poet – fictionalized elements spliced with historical facts

Hearing voices, following your passion

Demanding, harsh father

Determination, perseverance

Ridicule, doubt

Setting – Chile – rain forest and sea

Symbols – ocean, music, rain

Shyness and stuttering

Little boy growing up with little family support

Flights of fancy shown through simple line drawings

Romanticism and imagination shown through poetic prose

Shape poems

Shadow drawings

White space

Character development – strong arc from stuttering to clear speech of poetry

Classroom use – poetry, history, geography (rain forests, Chile)