Willie Ryan needs some help. His best friend moved away, he's being tortured by Lizzie (a British girl in his class who just won't leave him alone), and he always strikes out when he's up to bat. But once he meets Dodger, an imaginary, giant, blue, eye-patch wearing, magical, invisible chimp, nothing will ever be the same again. Could it be that Dodger...is just what Willie needed?
I liked a lot of the characters in this book - especially Willie, Dodger, Lizzie, and Willie's sister Amy (particularly the brother-sister dynamic). It's a familiar storyline ('be careful what you wish for...'), but Jordan Sonnenblick puts a nice spin on it, mixing humour with very serious situations. It's a buddy story, a sports story, a brother-sister story, a family drama story - a story that could appeal to many different kids, particularly reluctant readers.
Find it at Amazon.
Read it with:
Skinneybones by Barbara Park
The Snagglegrollop by Daniel Postgate
Baseball Crazy edited by Nancy E. Mercado