by Matthew Dicks
Publication Date: August 24, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: ARC copy from BEA (print and audio)
Jamin. Jumbly. Cynthia. Sarah.
I was an imaginative kid. I had not one, but FOUR imaginary friends. We did everything together. But, alas, they faded away, as many imaginary friends do. I never really thought about them having their own lives. But, this book has made me think of imaginary friends in a whole new way! Budo, the lead character in Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is unique as far as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for five years! He’s helped Max, his human friend, navigate the world of home and school for a long time. Max is special. From Budo’s description, the reader is led to believe that Max has autism. So, Max has relied on Budo and Budo loves Max. They are best friends. Budo helps Max make decisions, keeps guard while he goes to the bathroom, and tells him if his mom kisses him one too many times before she goes to bed. Their relationship is special and, as a reader, I felt it. Even though Budo is a figment of Max’s imagination, Budo came alive on the pages.
But when Max’s teacher kidnaps Max and no one sees it but Budo, he must figure out a way to save Max before it is too late! But, in doing so, Budo realizes that by saving Max, it might mean the end of himself. As long as Max believes in him and needs him, he will continue to exist. So, Budo is torn between wanting to help Max get away and wanting to save himself, because Max will eventually stop believing in him.
This book is heartfelt, at times laugh-out-loud funny, and at times sad. I would have loved a bit more detail on Mrs. Patterson’s (Max’s teacher) motives for kidnapping Max. There were some hints and I can make my own conclusions, but I wanted more about the WHY she did it. The audiobook narration is top notch and this is one of those books that I would definitely recommend listening to. It is phenomenal. Here is a clip for your enjoyment:
And thanks to Macmillan Audio, I have one AUDIO CD copy to give away to USA residents! Just fill out the form below with your name and e-mail address. That’s it! Giveaway will end one week from today on Tuesday September 18 at 11:59pm EST.
Tell me about your imaginary friends – did you have one (or two, or three, or four?)? What was his/her name? What did you do together?