Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Like some of Ryan’s other books, The Dreamer looks hefty but is actually a quick read. I read this one over about 2 hours and it flies by. I fell in love with Neftali, the main character and was stunned to realize he was actually a famous person. I won’t spoil it by telling which one! I did wonder at his radicalism – the book seemed historical, like it took place maybe 100 years ago, and Neftali and his uncle got very involved in human rights in their country (Chile). So the radicalism felt a little out of place in a historical fiction novel, but then I found out it was a true story. So not only did this story teach me something about him, but Neftali is such a dreamer and would probably be diagnosed with ADD if he lived today, so this book gave me some insight into what distracts kids and why. It’s a story about how hard it can be to be a kid whose parent wants you to be someone else, and how to stay true to yourself. There were a couple of times when I thought the story or a character was going in one direction and it went in another, which kept it interesting and spoke to Ryan’s sharp skills of description. Overall, beautiful writing and highly recommended.