“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.