"No one is born fully-formed: it is through self-experience in the world that we become what we are." Pablo Freire

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Dreamer

Inspired, Visionary, Congenial, Prolific, Inventive

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan & Peter Sis 
Published by Scholastic Copyright 2010
Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, Kirkus Best Children's Book of 2010 & Booklist Editor's Choice 2010

"This book has all the feel of a classic, elegant and measured, but deeply rewarding and eminently readable."— Booklist, starred review

Beauty is everywhere in the world around us, and only Neftali finds it everywhere he wanders. He loves to collect treasures, write and daydream. Though his father is very against it, calling him "absentminded"...which rings in his heads after it is said. Neftali only wants to be loved and accepted by his father, but he can't help all the things he loves to do. What's so wrong with exploring the world and wanting to know what's out there? Despite his father's wishes he continues to write and eventually one day becomes a world wide poet-Pablo Neruda with the support and self sacrifice of his mother and dear uncle. Neftali has the vivacity to go against the greater force and do what hes thinks is best for him. This story is about how Neftali came to be a poet and how he found his way, celebrating his imagination and childhood spirit throughout the years. 

Reading Level: Grade 5/6 Lexile 650L
Suggested Delivery: Read aloud or small group read
Extras: In the beginning of the book it has a quote by Pablo Neruda, introducing us to the book. After the book has ended, it also has an author's note with information about The Dreamer, and after that there are eleven more poems by Pablo Neruda, followed by the sources he used and lastly acknowledgements. 

Teachers here are some resources that may help you teach The Dreamer...
Key Vocabulary: This book is strong in vocabulary so it may benefit your students to teach these words before reading: lolling, recuperate, sodden, ramshackle, plotsam, zinc, prow, incessant, averted, swashbucklers, cowering, haphazard, disheveled, confrontation, dunce, el viento, feeble, imploring, wallowed, cavern, relentless, anticipation, adorned, sullenness, tenor, elation, wan, waylaid, vigorously, luma, absentminded, antidote, girth, ushered, quivered, clambered, quarrying, ballast, hods, reverently, novelties, deferring, scoured, bulbous, iridescent, cascade, appraising, preen, spectacle, tousled, altar, summoned, vigorous, squandering, loitered, burly, thistles, perspired, overzealous, amigo

Electronic Resources:
  • AuthorsSite: Here on the author's website you can read a synopsis, read an author's interview, view the awards and honors, view the discussion guide for teachers and order the book for yourself. This would be a great site for teachers to view before reading the book to the class.
  • ALANews: Read about how Pam Munoz Ryan won the Pura Belpre Award. It includes information about his life, the book, and how it came about. Great to read before or after reading for more information.
  • BookReview: On this website you can view a book review by Sententia Vera, a connection to the Spanish culture. Great for after reading for students for a more comprehensive summary of the book, or before reading for the teacher to determine if the book fits with the objective they want to fulfill.
Activities for Students:
  • Before Reading: Look up information about the country of Chile. Have children research it's geography, climate, history and indigenous people, especially the Mapuche (which is what Pablo is). Find out what is unique about the part of the country near the city of Temuco, where most of the story takes place.
  • During Reading: Once it becomes apparent in the story that Neftali has a dream: to be a writer, have children discuss this. Talk about how some parents in different cultures don't allow their children to do certain things. After discussing dreams, ask children what their dreams are. Have students write a poem of their own about their dream-what they want to be, or what they want to do.
  • After Reading: In response to the book, how does the culture and the Mapuche research relate to The Dreamer? How does Temuco tie into the book and the poems in the story? What role do the characters in The Dreamer play in Neftali's dream? (i.e. What role does Rodolfo play in Neftali's dream? How about Uncle Orlando and Mamadre?) Write an essay in response to these questions. Support your answers with evidence from the text.
"The book is an immaculately crafted and inspiring piece of magical realism." — Publishers Weekly, starred review 
Ryan, P. M., & Sís, P. (2010). The dreamer. New York: Scholastic Press.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment