Imaginary — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” 
~  Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Laura Fineburg Cooper has a great post HERE on Writers’ Rumpus on figuring out which tense — past or present — will work best for your writing.

If you’re writing about heavy or dark things, a little humor might be just what you need to break things up. HERE Libby Hubscher has an article in Writers Digest on How to Bring Humor to Tough Topics.

Sometimes we take it for granted that our computers will keep on running just right. Don’t be lulled into complacency. The post HERE by Eldred Bird at Writers in the Storm should remind us all of the capricious nature of machines. This is a cautionary tale well worth reading.

The news has been just horrible this week, and I can hardly stand to watch it anymore. I just find it impossible to believe this is happening in this day and age. But I still have fiction to escape into, and I am grateful for that. My classes for the first term are over, and I sure learned a lot. I have my final critique group with Tim McCanna coming up this week. He really knows his stuff and doesn’t pull any punches. I have gotten a great deal out of the first two meetings. I have much rewriting to do! I have been fighting some kind of respiratory flu the last week or so, and it has really set me back. I have had two Covid tests, and I’m happy to report they were both negative. I’ll see the doctor tomorrow and hope we can figure this out, but, boy, howdy, it has been wicked.

I read about the book IMAGINARY by Lee Bacon and found the premise interesting. I never had an imaginary friend, but my daughter Maggie had quite a serious one who hung around for two or three years. But, like most imaginary friends, he disappeared by the time she was around 4 or 5. This book has a different take on imaginary friends, one I think a lot of young people will find interesting. And that cover is absolutely magical. I love it. I was able to snag a review copy from the San Francisco Book Review. Here is the review I wrote for them.

Zach was six when his father died. His mother couldn’t stand to be in their house, so they moved. There were too many memories for Zach, too. He went through the house, putting things that reminded him of his dad into a box and buried it in the back yard, except for one little knight his father had painted. Shovel, Zach’s imaginary friend, was with him all the way, and now, five years later, Zach and Shovel are still together, ready to start middle school. But Zach is eleven, long past the time imaginary friends should be forgotten. Zach’s former best friend and two other guys bully Zach about Shovel, and things get pretty rough. It’s hard to know how much Zach can give up to get his life back on track.

Lee Bacon

Author Lee Bacon chose to tell this story from the point of view of Shovel, the imaginary friend. It’s an interesting choice, especially as Zach becomes more mature and independent. The writing is terrific, the story is very compelling, and the characters are all well-developed and believable, even Shovel. Middle graders will be completely engaged by this book and the occasional fun illustrations by Katy Wu. Don’t miss it.

There won’t be a giveaway this week. I’ve already passed this one along. Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

14 thoughts on “Imaginary — Review”

  1. Sounds like a compelling story. I will admit to having an imaginary friend until I was about 4 so taking it beyond that will be quite the good read. I agree with you on that cover. Magical.
    Thanks for the links and with it being spring break I got to them all this morning. Take care and I hope you feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on the news – I had to turn it off this week. Imaginary looks like a perfect read for about now. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rats! I thought I had found out a way to beat the problem of leaving comments but ran into the same problem again. I’ll try again later! sigh. I hope you are feeling better by now. I’m glad you didn’t have Covid. ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This cover is absolutely magical. Sounds like an interesting book. If I remember correctly- Crenshaw by Applegate is also about an older child with an imaginary friend. This sounds like a different take on the idea. I am intrigued by your review. Thanks for sharing.


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