Neftali is keenly aware of his environment including his family and things he finds and collects while exploring outside. Because he is sickly he is often confined inside and must rely on his younger sister’s description of what she sees from the window. Unfortunately for both of them their father is overbearing and determined to make them physically strong and intellectually brilliant. Naturally this leads to conflict and this conflict finally leads Neftali to leave for university in a distant city.
The story is based on poet Pablo Neruda’s life. He also had a difficult father and left his family when he went to the university. Later he became one of the most famous poets in the world. The illustrations perfectly show the details which Neftali sees and feels but in a day dreaming kind of way. The three panels at the beginning of each chapter outline the progression of events in the chapter.
Neftali cares deeply about people’s feelings and fairness. Through his story you will also gain insights into what it means to have dreams you want to pursue. The library has a biography of Neruda in the Children’s collection, and many volumes of his poetry and stories in the adult collection.
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