Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend: A Novel

Matthew Dicks
I am not imaginary...Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.Max is different from other children. Some people say he has Asperger’s, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max unconditionally and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, a teacher in the Learning Center who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save Max—and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or his own existence. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a triumph of courage and imagination that touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming . . . and heartbreaking conclusion.


Reviewed: 2016-10-02

This unique and touching story easily deserves five stars.  From the very first page, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend grabs your attention, stirring up emotions that grow stronger as the story develops.  It introduces the challenges faced by both those caring for a special needs child and the child himself. It also poses existential questions in new and poyniant ways. The narrative is dotted with the main character's incisive observations of human nature. These truths are sometimes sad, often funny, always clever. They stem from an imaginary being viewing human behaviour with objectivity and the infallible logic of a child. As narrators go, Budo is perfect: endearing, lovable, logical, loyal, brave, observant and full of initiative.  I would recommend this book to high school students.  It would be an excellent novel for discussions about special needs, what it means to be alive, friendship, loyalty, survival, and individuality.  Other books that would go well in a text set with Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend might be The Lovely Bones by Alice Seibold, In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, and Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

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