Reviews

2015 INTERNATIONAL LATINO BOOK AWARD FINALIST
Best Young Adult Fiction—English

FIVE STAR REVIEW

“TENDER, YET DELIVERED WITH A PUNCH IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES,
this perceptive and incredibly empathetic story reveals the depths of despair as the brutal blows of life threaten to snuff out the will to live in Mateo and his feline observer…The Illuminated Forest exhibits characteristics often found in award-winning juvenile and young adult fiction. Filled with beautiful illustrations to enhance the most striking scenes, this childlike fairytale will also appeal to adults seeking
SOPHISTICATED SYMBOLISM AND WELL-HONED LANGUAGE TYPICAL OF FINE LITERATURE.”
ForeWord Clarion Review

“COMPELLING…
Endearing and impressive…this heartfelt tale of a young boy’s pain and reluctance to make connections could form an instructive, charming story for younger readers.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Fontánez weaves a tale of loss, anger and hope through the stories of a young boy, a stray cat, an evil and abusive man, a ghost, and the plants and animals of the tropical island. Black-and-white drawings, some covering full pages, give the feeling of a journal in which the author is recording thoughts and impressions. Mateo’s story and the descriptions of Palo Verde’s lush and simple community are
QUITE MEMORABLE.”
School Library Journal

“AMAZING! YOU WILL NOT WANT TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN.
Fontánez’s choice of vocabulary, imagery, and the incredible descriptions of the forest [are] imbued with a touch of magic that will allow you to listen to the conversations between the forest trees and the animals that inhabit it!…
NO DOUBT THIS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS I HAVE READ THIS YEAR!”
—Matilde García-Arroyo, Ed.D., English Professor

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