An allegorical tale about friendship, fear, happiness and hope.
Orange-haired fourth-grader Felix Shwartzwalder lives a pretty ordinary life. He lives in an apartment with two very busy parents and attends the school right across the street. When he goes to sleep at night, however, Felix’s life gets strange. He travels to a forest that is home to some super-scary monsters as well as a boy who looks exactly Felix. This boy, the “Other Felix,” knows how to keep the monsters away, and Felix is determined to learn the skill. In his daytime life, Felix begins to have trouble with Chase, a new kid in school who frames Felix for stealing a calculator. Felix figures out how to get back at Chase, but he never feels right about that choice. His teacher, noticing the friction between the boys, forces them to spend time after school together, but will this help the two boys to forge a friendship? In the nighttime world, Felix finds himself befriending the very monsters he once wanted to vanquish. Can he do that in real life? The story unfolds deliberately, in plainspoken prose that helps readers accept Felix's surreal dream life as just as real as his school life.
This thoughtful, whimsical story promises rewards for those patient readers who stick with Felix till the end. (Fiction. 9-12)