Summer 2010 Kids' Next List
“The inner life of a young boy growing up in Chile, confined to bed with illness and bullied by his father, is beautifully illuminated by the words of Ryan and the illustrations of Sis. We are not surprised to learn that Neftali, observant of every detail in the natural world, treasuring the words he hears and reads, and sympathetic to the plight of the native people, grows up to become the beloved poet Pablo Neruda.”
— Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer's Bookstore, Chicago, IL
Winner of the 2011 Pure Belpre Award for fiction now in an elegant paperback edition
From the time he is a young boy, Neftali hears the call of a mysterious voice. He knows he must follow it--even when the neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh, authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself. It leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, until finally, he discovers its source.
Combining elements of magical realism with biography, poetry, literary fiction, and sensorial, transporting illustrations, Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis take readers on a rare journey of the heart and imagination.
About the Author
Pam Munoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.
Peter Sis is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and filmmaker with more than twenty books to his credit. His picture book THE WALL: GROWING UP BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN was a 2007 Caldecott Honor Book, and STARRY MESSENGER: GALILEO GALILEI and TIBET THROUGH THE RED BOX were Caldecott Honor Books. Peter Sis lives in the New York City area. You can visit him at www.petersis.com.