Saturday, September 22, 2012

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks


I had an imaginary friend as a child - I am an only child, so I needed a friend. Matthew Dicks novel about a fragile young boy named Max is narrated by his imaginary friend, Budo, whose engaging and naive voice reminds me of Emma Donoghue's narrator in Room. In fact, this novel bears comparison to both Room and The Lovely Bones. Budo knows when Max is in trouble, but as a imaginary friend he has limited powers in the real world. Much of the novel concerns how Max is treated by students and teachers when he is in school, and Dicks has created teacher heroes and teacher devils to drive this story. I loved that he had the good teacher reading The Tale of Despereaux in the last chapter. This book will definitely appeal to high school students and ring true with anyone who has ever imagined a friend.

P.S. My imaginary friend died with my tonsillectomy when I was five. Dicks and Budo agree many imaginary friends are present in hospitals and many don't make it past kindergarten.


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