Mañanaland

By: Pam Muñoz Ryan

Maximiliano Córdoba loves stories, especially the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers, who are true of heart, 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.

ISBN: 9781338157864

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Violence: Abuse Reference/Discussion
Topics: Legends , Quests , Expeditions , Magic , Grandfathers , Folklore , Magic , Family life , Soccer

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Booklist*, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine

School Library Journal

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 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. A gem of a story with timely messages whose main audience is educators and contemplative children. Nevertheless, a required purchase.

Horn Book

Growing up in Santa Maria, a (fictional) country "somehere in the Américas," Maximiliano Córdoba 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, includ Growing up in Santa Maria, a (fictional) country "somehere in the Américas," Maximiliano Córdoba 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 villiage fútbol team, but without a birth certificate, he won't even be able to try out. As Papá 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 Mañanaland, a place whose true nature eludes him. Ryan skillfully balances Max's day-to-day concerns (friendships, fútbol) 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, her Max "true of hear and proud of the legacy into which he's been born," and a good fútbol player, too.

Book Details

ISBN

9781338157864

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.5; Points: 5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 650L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Scholastic Press

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Abuse Reference/Discussion

Topics

Legends, Quests, Expeditions, Magic, Grandfathers, Folklore, Magic, Family life, Soccer,

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Cover Art

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