I had an imaginary friend when I was little named Marvin. Whenever I got in trouble I would go stand in the corner and talk to Marvin.
I did not have an imaginary friend as a child. I had a slightly older sister who served just about the same purpose. I just finished this book this morning. I read it slowly. I found the entire premise of the book rewarding. Sometimes the logic would escape me while I read. How could a character who we know will disappear in the end be writing a book? But then I would recall the nature of this character and I would settle back into the magic of the book. Budo’s journey reminded me of my own journey. Not through childhood and devils and seeking out comfort while growing up but through adulthood. My journey for meaning that started not when I was a child learning to understand the world around me but as an adult with the power to open a door and take an elevator and save a child. Where does meaning reside for those of us who are not imaginary? Does meaning reside in a legacy or being a hero or does it reside in reading a book that becomes part of your personal meaning. All important questions that I will ponder long after Budo sees Dee’s eyes.
I have a son with special needs, including autism. Although he is far more disabled than Max, I just LOVED the painting that Budo created of who a kid like Max really is- to others and to himself. These kids are so deep- with hidden treasures among all their chaos. I got a bit worried during the final-showdown chapters that the author was going to also create a miraculous recovery for Max- that somehow he would be cured. Certainly a wish I have for my child, but not a “quick and easy possibility” I would want portrayed to others who might not know this life called Special Needs. I was relieved to find Max at the end- still quirky- but having survived. My daughter and husband also read the book. We all loved it. “Better than Hunger Games!” said my daughter. Whoa that is saying a lot for a fifteen year old! My son can’t talk much, but he can read at a 2nd grade level. Maybe someday he will enjoy this book too…:)
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