DEBBIE O. - 5 STARS




A twelve year old girl named Sarah has an imaginary friend named Tom. Sarah’s parents are upset by this, feeling she is too old to still have an imaginary friend. Her parents decide to move away from the area they live in, hoping it will somehow break the tie to her friend. They want her to make real friends. Upon arrival at their new home, Sarah and Tom go off to explore and find a secret garden. While there, they have an argument. She angrily muses out loud that maybe she is too old for an imaginary friend, at which point, Tom disappears. Sarah now regrets her reaction and decides she must try to find a way to bring him back. Being hungry, she sets off for her new home for dinner, but never reaches her house. Instead, she comes to a town. Sarah thinks that here she will get directions back to her new house, but instead learns that she is in the Land of the Phantasmal. She decides that Tom must be here somewhere and renews her determination to find him. Sarah is befriended by Elphi who agrees that she will help Sarah. Sarah encounters the truly frightening Night Terrors and in trying to escape, Sarah falls down a deep hole and emerges in another place, where she meets the man and woman in the truck whom she first met while wandering her way towards the town. They tell Sarah to come with them as they drive around the Land of the Phantasmal, selling their delicious baked goods. They can keep an eye open for Tom as they do. In return, they ask that Sarah help them with their business. Sarah agrees, and off they go. During her travels, she comes to learn unexpected things about herself and about the Land of the Phantasmal. Will she ever find Tom? Will he want to return with her to the world of humans? Will she want to go back herself, as she discovers she enjoys living where she is…. The story has some surprising twists and turns as Sarah eventually discovers that home is wherever your heart is. A side note is that the author provided a copy of this book for me to review. It's an honest review - as an older adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it would be suitable for younger children too, but the night terror descriptions might bother a child with an active imagination; read it first if your child falls into this category.

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