March 2020


By Pam Muñoz Ryan
Review by
Share this Article:

Newbery Honor author Pam Muñoz Ryan (Echo) demonstrates her ability to tell poignant adventure stories with Mañanaland, which is certain to become an instant classic. 

It’s the first day of summer break, and Max is full of the sweet anticipation of weekend visits to the local swimming hole and daily soccer drills to increase his chance of achieving the dream held by every young boy in the village of Santa Maria: making the fútbol team. But almost as soon as Max forms these plans, they begin to fade right before his eyes. His father won’t allow him to go to the elite fútbol clinic that all of his friends will be attending, and even worse, Max soon learns that the mother who left when he was a baby took his birth certificate with her, leaving him no way to register for the team. 

His dreams crumbling, Max takes drastic action and embarks on a quest to find his mother and set everything right. But his family history is not what he thought it was, and Max must uncover many secrets before he can return home. 

Ryan’s unadorned prose offers readers lush depictions of life in Max’s small village, which she populates with characters that spring instantly to life. Max is the kind of protagonist that readers love to root for, equipped with a good heart and growing emotionally along his journey. Though Mañanaland can feel a bit bittersweet at times, Ryan counterbalances this with heartening representations of kindness in the face of adversity and the courage required to live out that ideal.

Trending Reviews

Alana S. Portero, Alexandra Grey

Actress Alexandra Grey resonantly reads Alana S. Portero’s stunning debut, Bad Habit, chronicling a trans girl’s coming of age in 1980s Madrid.

Get the Book



By Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN 9781338157864

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our newsletter to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.