Book Review: Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan

        Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Mañanaland tells the story of Maximiliano Córdoba. Eleven-year-old Max has lived without a mother for as long as he can remember. She left Max as a baby, and Max’s overprotective Papá refuses to say a word about her. Max tries to forget about his mother as he trains for the Santa Maria fútbol tryouts, but when Papá and Buelo reveal a tightly kept family secret, Max can’t stop wondering about who his mother was or why she left him. Max may know how to find the answers, but all he has is Buelo’s old stories and hope to guide him. 

        Pam Muñoz Ryan’s captivating writing creates beautiful illustrations to imagine.“Citrus orchards and grape fields bordered the outskirts of town. Nestled in the foothills on dirt roads, modest white stone cottages perched like patient doves at roost.” (5) “For me, one moment it was warm and syrupy, like a cinnamon pastel just from the oven. And the next, cool and smooth, like a rock pulled from the riverbed.” (48) Lines like these make you feel like you are looking at Santa Maria or experiencing a certain feeling. They help you picture Max’s journey and experiences, all while making Mañanaland a pleasure to read. 

        Readers who have experienced a parent keeping important secrets from them will enjoy Mañanaland. So will people who are fond of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s other books, including Esperanza Rising. Lastly, readers who like books with dependable characters who always have each other’s backs will appreciate this beautifully written novel.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *