The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst

51t6n6ZxZ1L  The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst; Clarion (9780544464971), 2015.

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Magical Realism

Rating: 5

What did you like about the book? Sophie, the twelve-year old daughter of bookshop owners, lives a solitary life. Why? Because not only do her parents sell books in their shop, but they also trade in dreams, an enterprise that must be kept secret. Sophie can invite no friends home and must be circumspect about her family life, especially her pet, Monster, who she “dreamed” into being. You see, although Sophie is unable to have dreams of her own, she has the rare ability to dream others’ dreams and make them become real.

When evil arrives in town, in the form of Mr. Nightmare, Sophie’s world is thrust into upheaval. With the help of Monster, a new friend and pink Ninja bunnies she battles Mr. N and his fellow sinister beings to save her family and the world.

Durst does a masterful job in blending the realism of middle school life, full of transitions and insecurities, and the fantasy world of dreams and nightmares. She lets us see beyond the superficial countenances presented to the outside world to the inner fears and hopes of her characters.

Humor is sprinkled throughout, most often via Monster, who is not only Sophie’s pet but her best friend as well. And did I mention the pink Ninja bunnies? 

Anything you didn’t like about it? No. 

To whom would you recommend this book? / Who should buy this book? This book will appeal to fans of Inkheart, Snicker of Magic, Tangle of Knots, Drizzle, Bliss, Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop and, of course, Durst’s first middle grade novel Into the Wild. Recommended purchase for elementary and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Nancy Riemer Kellner, Peaslee Elementary School Library, Northborough, MA

 Date of review: 8/30/2015

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