Thursday, June 10, 2004
The Dream Bearer
Myers, W. 2003. THE DREAM BEARER. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 0060295228 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-9]
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
An adolescent youth, David, endures a difficult life. The young hero lives in the projects of an inner city. His brother is probably heavily involved with drugs, and his father has serious mental health problems. As David is faced with his personal dilemmas, he meets Mr. Moses. Mr. Moses is a tired dream bearer who claims to be hundreds of years old. David thinks the gentleman is interesting but confused. Mr. Moses selects David to pass on his gift of dreams. He tells David that dreams may be the only things we have that are truly real. David accepts his gift somewhat hesitantly. Through his dreams, he is able to feel his father’s pain and his brother’s anger. Ultimately, he finds that his dreams help him develop a greater and deeper understanding of others.
Mr. Myers tells a compelling fantastical story of a boy enduring real hardships. The two males in his life, his dad and older brother, are falling apart. Young David has to choose to give up or struggle to triumph through trying times. Courageously, David opts to fight to make life better. The themes of man versus self and society come through clearly as the story progresses. Readers feel David’s anger and concern as he begins to lose the men that matter most to him. This is a skillfully told story about dreams, truth, and hope that readers are likely to carry with them long after they read the book.
Children can discuss ways in which they feel their dreams have given them insight into their own lives.
Children can discuss what Mr. Moses means when he says that “Dreams may be the only things we have that are real.”
Children can portray David’s father as they understand him at the beginning of the story. Then, they can depict David’s father as they understand him at the end of the story. The children can compare and contrast the portrayals. (Opportunities for a variety of portrayals exist. Children may use sketches, posters, poems, role-play, etc. to portray the father.)
Other books that deal with dream bearers:
Lowry, Lois. THE GIVER. ISBN 0440237688
Other books by Myers that can be compared to this one in terms truth, identity, and family:
SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS. ISBN 0439523567
By Laura K. Davis