After the death of her father, Lizzie Barnes’ life takes an interesting turn when her mum brings home a journal.
Lizzie decides to use the journal to write short stories involving her beloved teddy bear Rodford and his arch-enemy Dr Ofdor, a villainous grizzly bear.
She soon notices it is no ordinary journal as people around her begin to have dreams based around her stories.
When Lizzie begins to experience the dreams for herself, she finds that as the creator, the rules of the journal can work against her.
Lizzie, with the help of Rodford and a rat named Ridgeley, must explore the different worlds while facing the dangers she created, including Dr Ofdor, to free herself from the workings of the journal. (Back Cover Blurb)
Lizzie burst through the door without saying a word and ran up to her room, not daring to look back at her mother or brother. (First Sentence, Chapter One)
Lizzie didn't answer him. He entered the room fully. He picked Rodford up and observed him once more. "You know, it's funny. That dream I told you about where I was falling, Rodford was in it. I just wanted to check him out, so I could be sure that it was him."
"Sounds weird," said Lizzie showing little interest.
"Yeah, I suppose it is. Why would I dream about your teddy bear? Something I rarely pay attention to." (Memorable moment, Page 28)
MY THOUGHTS ... What I'd describe as a story within a story. Lizzie's Dream Journal is the tale of a recently bereaved girl who is given a journal; a journal in which she decides to write stories, however, as she is soon to discover, its a journal like no other.
An original and exciting middle grade book that deals with some pretty hefty issues and themes (bereavement following the death of a parent, bullying, resilience, what it takes to be a good friend etc).
Cleverly written; as an adult who has vivid dreams I admit to finding myself caught up in the science of dreams which did distract from the story a little. However I'm sure this won't be a problem for the majority of older/more mature children/more advanced readers who I have little doubt will find themselves caught up in Lizzie's life ... and dreams.
That there are twists and turns aplenty with plenty held back until the end make for a gripping read. I loved the contrast between the two aspects of the book ... the harshness that was Lizzie's reality and the fantastical dreams in which she, her teddy bear (Rodford) and a rodent by the name of Ridgeley battled the villainous baddy (a grizzly bear named Dr Ofdor). And then of course there's Lizzie herself ...
All in favour of feisty female characters. Its wonderful to discover a book featuring such an adventurous, courageous and resilient character such as Lizzie.
Definitely an author to look out for; this is the third of their books I have read and enjoyed ... hopefully it won't be the last.