by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This is a fictionalized version of the poet Pablo Neruda’s life. Neftali is a shy, withdrawn child who has to deal with his father’s tyranny. He’s not the only one; his brother, stepmother, and little sister also must deal with it.
Neftali is a collector of found treasures, a dreamer, a writer, a lover of the written word. Things his father thinks is a waste of time. Neftali must fight all that to become the writer he wants to be.
Chapters are interspersed with poetry. Interesting, but may not be interesting enough to capture most children’s interest.