I have my own confession to make. When I was a young boy growing up in a house full of girls, I had an imaginary friend. His name was The Invisible Man. Not the most creative name, but he served his purpose, giving me comfort in those early years. Of course as I grew older he left my world to remain only in name.
Now comes along a special book, CONFESSIONS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND: A Memoir by Jacques Papier. The concept is so brilliant, so creative, and so full of insights about growing up, that I’m sure it will become a classic. Seems that the fine folks at 20th Century Fox Animation think so, too. They’ve already acquired the rights to the story even before the book is published.
The standard way to do a story of this type would be to write it from the perspective of the child who has the imaginary friend. Thank goodness the gifted author, Michelle Cuevas, chose to write this from Jacques’s first person narrative, because he is the imaginary friend.
You will laugh out loud in several places and possibly have a tear or two as real-life emotional issues are explored. This would make an excellent introduction to new readers of middle grade, but in reality young and old alike will be touched by its charm.
If you leave a comment (even an I want to win! will do), I’ll enter you in a drawing for a brand new hardback edition of CONFESSIONS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND courtesy of Penguin/Random House Publishers. Hurry up though as I will draw the name next Sunday evening (Sept. 13 – 6pm EDT). If you win it will be one of those books that won’t stay on your bookshelf for long.
PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 8, 2015 PAGE COUNT: 176
FULL PLOT (From Penguin-Random House):
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: CONFESSIONS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND… by Michelle Cuevas
- Reluctant readers rejoice. The chapters are short (the first one is only 111 words). and the spacing of the lines perfect for eyes that shudder at too many words on one page. There are also small kid-like pencil sketches every so often to break up the text.
- The humor is surprising and sophisticated. It caught me of guard while reading the story as I waited to get a haircut. I couldn’t stop myself from giggling. I wish there was a picture of the looks I was getting from others wondering what could be bringing so much joy to my corner of the waiting area.
- Imaginaries Anonymous and The Office of Reassignment were both marvelous parallels to the real world. Show don’t Tell has a place for authors to study by visiting these pages.
- The story is a bundled up nicely for a successful conclusion. Not exactly what you expect, but so powerful in its effect.
- All of the characters Jacques meets along the way will be ones you may of crossed paths in your own life. They are each there to make a point about belonging and learning about oneself.
FAVORITE LINES:(And there are so many to choose from!)
“See,” I said, crouching back down to join Bernard. “I told you she’d be fine. She’s just sitting there with an ice pack over her eye. If it were anything serious, there would be an ambulance or a priest or something.”
A ONE QUESTION INTERVIEW WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER, JACQUES PAPIER
What inspired you to tell your story?
I guess I just wanted there to be a story out there for everyone who ever felt like I did; everyone who has felt unseen and invisible at some point in their lives. Some people probably feel like that right now. And I wanted them to know they’re not alone.
Also, I’d like to meet Oprah.
WHO IS AUTHOR, Michelle Cuevas?
Michelle Cuevas graduated from William’s College an holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Virginia. She is the author of The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant and Beyond the Laughing Sky. She lives in Massachusetts. Michelle Cuevas’s web site.
CONFESSIONS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND is available at Amazon.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.