New York Times bestselling author Lisa Papademetriou delivers her most fantastical, emotional story yet in this tale of a young girl's journey into her dreams to save her brother from the darkness that surrounds him.
Every night, your sleeping body stays in your bed, while the you of you travels deep beneath the earth to ride the complex rails of the Dreamway.... Stella Clay thought it was just another ordinary day at her drab gray school. Then her twin brother, Cole, is attacked by a shadowy creature on their way home, and Stella's world turns positively peculiar. Suddenly, her brother seems different, almost dimmer, like a candle about to flicker out. And then a talking mouse shows up in her bedroom. Stella discovers that the real Cole has been taken prisoner in the Dreamway. Determined to find him, she sets out with the "help" of a stuck-up rodent, a nervous dragonfly, and a mysterious pirate, and finds her way to the darkest edge of the Dreamway to bring her brother home...before he's trapped forever.
An unsettling, engaging dream-world adventure (Fantasy. 10-12).
Gr 4-6—After Cole is attacked by a strange shadow creature in the subway after school, twin sister Stella notices something different about him. His usual cheerful and creative demeanor has been replaced with anger, and she is sure she sees him flicker. When a talking mouse shows up in her bedroom and takes her into the Dreamway, a subway of dreams, she learns that the shadowy creature is a Chimerath and that if she doesn't hurry, her brother's soul will be lost. She embarks on a journey throughout the Dreamway with help from the mouse named Anyway, a dragonfly called Spuddle, and her friend Alice, a wheelchair user who has the ability to use her legs in the Dreamway. The story is vaguely reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, with Stella's otherworldly adventures and the strange cast of non-human characters. The plot moves quickly through the different realms and transitions well between sleep and real life. The story resolves, but leaves enough open for the possibility of a second volume. Alice is a three-dimensional character, whose disability is treated with sensitivity and authenticity. VERDICT With quirky secondary characters, a compelling plot, and room for a sequel, this is a strong purchase for medium and large middle grade collections.—Kat Paiva, Rye Public Library, NHCopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.