Rating: High Five!
Who I'd Recommend to: Fans of Roald Dahl, Cornelia Funke, and Kate DiCamillo
Synopsis (from Amazon):
Rudger is Amanda Shuffleup's imaginary friend. Nobody else can see Rudger--until the evil Mr. Bunting arrives at Amanda's door. Mr. Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumor has it that he even eats them. And now he's found Rudger.
Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. He needs to find Amanda before Mr. Bunting catches him--and before Amanda forgets him and he fades away to nothing. But how can an unreal boy stand alone in the real world?
The Imaginary is one of those books that you'll treasure forever. Written in a way similar to classic authors such as Cornelia Funke, Roald Dahl, and Kate DiCamillo, I sometimes reread entire pages just because I loved the writing so much. I felt right at home within the fantastical, imaginative, creative pages of this short story, and I've no doubt that both young children, teenagers, and adults will cherish this book as my class and I have. I will warn you, though, that the vivid pictures (which I loved) did get a bit creepy at some points. I've never read Coraline, since I'm not a fan of scary stories, but I would imagine the Imaginary is way less scary than that book, but it's still in that "vein."
Moving on from that note, I loved all the characters, and I honestly did cry at the sweet, perfect ending. This book is immensely creative - I can't even begin to describe how much I loved the way Rudger's world was laid out (the Library, Mr. Bunting, Emily, Fridge, etc.) Again, the characters reminded me of those from classic storybooks, and I would wholeheartedly recommend this as a must-read to all children, right alongside books by those same three authors I've constantly mentioned.