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Cover image for Mananaland
Title:
Mananaland
ISBN:
9781338157864
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
247 pages ; 22 cm.
Reading Level:
650 L Lexile
Summary:
Twelve-year-old Max, who loves the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow, sets out on a dangerous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds, armed with a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo's legend as his only guides.
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Summary

Summary

Newbery Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan weaves an entrancing tale of courage and self-discovery. "Uniquely magical...Timely and timeless." -- New York Times * "This tightly packed, powerful fantasy contains resonant truths." -- Kirkus Reviews , starred review* "Another unforgettable work from a master storyteller." -- Booklist , starred review* "Richly tiered... wrenchingly real...compelling." -- Publishers Weekly , starred review"A gem of a story with timely messages." -- School Library Journal "Rich and relevant." -- The Horn Book "A luminous embodiment of hope." -- Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-winning author of One Crazy Summer and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground " Mañanaland is that rare gift of a book." -- Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of Disappeared Maximiliano Córdoba loves stories, especially the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow.If Max could see tomorrow, he would know if he'd make Santa Maria's celebrated fútbol team and whether he'd ever meet his mother, who disappeared when he was a baby. He longs to know more about her, but Papá won't talk. So when Max uncovers a buried family secret--involving an underground network of guardians who lead people fleeing a neighboring country to safety--he decides to seek answers on his own.With a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo's legend as his only guides, he sets out on a perilous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds.This timeless tale of struggle, hope, and the search for tomorrow has much to offer today about compassion and our shared humanity.


Author Notes

Author Pam Muñoz Ryan was born in Bakersfield, California on December 25, 1951. She received a B. A. in child development and a M. A. in education from San Diego State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a bilingual Head Start teacher and as an early childhood program administrator. At first, she wrote adult books about child development, but soon switched to writing children's books.

She has written over twenty-five picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young readers. The novel Esperanza Rising, winner of the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Peace Award, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, and the Americas Award Honor Book, is based on her own grandmother's immigration from Mexico to California. Riding Freedom has also won many awards including the national Willa Cather Award and the California Young Reader Medal. When Marian Sang, a picture book about singer Marian Anderson, won numerous awards including the ALA Sibert Honor and NCTE's Orbis Pictus Award. In 2015 her title Echo made The New York Times Best Seller List. She also won a Kirkus Prize in the children's literature category with her title 'Echo'.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in the fictional Latin country of Santa Maria, this richly tiered novel is, at its core, wrenchingly real. Maximiliano Córdoba, almost 12, often wonders "about big and bewildering things," principally why his mother disappeared when he was a baby, but Max's somber Papá refuses to answer any questions. Newbery Honoree Ryan (Echo) infuses the soccer-loving boy's story with mystery based on local myth, closely guarded secrets, and a missing birth certificate. As the boy walks with his solitary Papá, ironically a builder of bridges in their small town, a peregrine falcon appears; legend has it that the falcon annually brings "the ghosts of the hidden ones"--refugees who fled a neighboring country's cruelties with the help of "guardians" who shepherded them to safety through local ruins. The author interlaces this lore with the intricate story of how Max's family played a key role in the real-life drama, and how the boy bravely steps in to carry on that legacy. Lyrical allusions to the heartbreaking reality of life under repressive regimes and Max's belief in the promise of tomorrow fuse the title and plot of this compelling novel, which ends on a reassuring note. Ages 8--12. (Mar.)


Horn Book Review

Growing up in Santa Maria, a (fictional) country "somewhere in the Americas," Maximiliano Cordoba is familiar with the legends of the Guardians and the Hidden Ones they led to safety-he's heard them from his grandfather all his life. It's his mother's story that remains a mystery. When she disappeared, she took almost everything with her, including proof of Max's birth. Now Max dreams of making the village futbol team, but without a birth certificate, he won't even be able to try out. As Papa sets out to get him one, Max discovers a secret about his family-the original Guardians-and the circumstances surrounding his mother's disappearance. Legends and the realities of life come together (and the pace picks up) when Max must rely on his Buelo's stories to help him escort a refugee child safely through Santa Maria, if not all the way to Mananaland, a place whose true nature eludes him. Ryan skillfully balances Max's day-to-day concerns (friendships, futbol) with his longing for his mother and his growing awareness of a moral responsibility to help others, even in a world where compassion is criminalized. The novel is rich and relevant, hero Max "true of heart and proud of the legacy into which he'd been born," and a good futbol player, too. Anamaria Anderson May/June 2020 p.132(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

In a small town located somewhere in the Américas, eleven-year-old Max has been raised by his no-nonsense father and head-in-the-clouds grandfather, ever since his mother disappeared when he was a baby. Longing to find her, the fútbol-loving protagonist uncovers secrets about his family's past and embarks on a dangerous mission to help a refugee from a dictator-led neighboring country find her way to Mañanaland. The two traverse rocky terrain, hide from those looking to collect a reward for the missing refugee, and follow the map that Max learned through his grandfather's nightly bedtime story. In her first book since the Newbery Honor-winning Echo (2015), Muñoz Ryan crafts a lyrical, fablelike tale of love, loss, community, and standing up for what is right. The novel is told with evocative and dreamlike writing and features authentic characters who tug at the heartstrings. As the impeccable pacing keeps readers guessing, the timely story line will resonate, especially bringing to mind the plight of young people who have to travel long distances in unfamiliar lands to find safety. This story, infused with magic, reminds children that humanity thrives when people embrace differences and construct bridges instead of borders. Another unforgettable work from a master storyteller.--Shelley M. Diaz Copyright 2020 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3--6--Eleven-year-old Maximiliano Córdoba lives in Santa Maria village with his father's extended family of stone masons. On the mundane level, he wants to join a fútbol clinic with his friend Chuy, but an abandoned stone tower--La Reina Gigante--makes him wonder about hidden refugees fleeing the neighboring country of Abismo. While Max's father is away, Max encounters a refugee, Isadora, and learns his family are secretly guardians who help people flee to safety. In his father's absence, Max determines to guide Isadora to the next stop with all the dangers that entails, partly to discover information about his long-absent mother. As always, Ryan's strength is in her visually expressive language. Readers can picture the village, the personified tower, and Max's journey through rough country. Poignant, memorable moments are created with just a few sentences. On the other hand, the novel is slow to start. Additionally, the imaginary country construct vies with specific details found in real life such as Catholic churches, fútbol, and a Portuguese water dog. The first half of the novel is an uneasy detente of this paradox. However, as Max and Isadora set out, the imminent danger and their growing friendship will pull readers fully into this world and make Ryan's story feel solid. VERDICT A gem of a story with timely messages whose main audience is educators and contemplative children. Nevertheless, a required purchase.--Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT


Kirkus Review

A boy journeys to self-discovery through the power of stories and traditions. Eleven-year-old Maximiliano Crdoba is ready for an idyllic summer. He plans to work hard as a builder for his father and train for ftbol tryouts. Plus, Max hopes dad will take him to visit the towering ruins of La Reina Gigante, a haunted hideout used in the past by the Guardians to hide refugees as they fled Abismo, a war-torn, neighboring dictatorship. However, when Max must provide his birth certificate to join the team, he feels his dream summer crumble away. The document disappeared years ago, along with his mother, the woman with whom Max shares "leche quemada" eyes. Soon, Pap leaves on a three-week journey to request a new one, and Max finds himself torn between two desires: to know the truth about why his mother left when he was a baby and to make the team. As Max discovers the enchanting stories his grandfather has been telling him for years have an actual foothold in reality, he must choose between his own dreams and those of others. Kirkus Prize winner Ryan (Echo, 2015) beautifully layers thought-provoking topics onto her narrative while keeping readers immersed in the story's world. Although set in the fictional country of Santa Maria, "somewhere in the Amricas," the struggles of refugee immigrants and the compassion of those who protect the travelers feel very relevant.This tightly packed, powerful fantasy contains resonant truths. (Fantasy. 7-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


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