Author(s): Leonie Agnew
Can an imaginary friend become real? A spell-binding and exciting new novel from Leonie Agnew, author of the award-winning Conrad Cooper's Last Stand.
Benjamin figures Vincent Gum can do anything. Which I can. I'm not possible. Yet here I am. Ben literally pushed me out of his head and into the world.
Vincent Gum finds six-year-old Benjamin moments after an explosion and leads him through wrecked city streets to the children's shelter. Vincent isn't interested in hanging around to babysit, but by the time they arrive he knows that Ben, with his crazy ideas and weird imaginary games, won't survive ten minutes there without someone to look out for him. For one thing, something sinister lurks in the dormitory cupboard, waiting to get out. Vincent's tough and smart. He can walk through walls and make a dead tree flower. But to the rest of the world he's invisible - non-existent. That's because, in his moment of need, Ben invented him. When Ben is befriended by a gang of streetwise orphans, Vincent begins to worry. What will happen to him if Ben decides he no longer needs an imaginary friend? Will he cease to exist? And without Vincent, what will happen to a boy with an imagination so powerful he can bring his worst nightmare to life?
I don't have much time. I need to convince everyone I'm real. And I need to do everything soon, before I disappear forever.
Kathleen's review - In this book, we are in a city that has been ravaged by war. Buildings are bombed, infrastructure is ruined, and reliance for food and medicine is on dropped Red Cross parcels (which may be intercepted). Orphans aren't safe on the streets, but there is an orphanage . . .
This combines a realistic look at the lives of war-affected children with a touch of the magical. If you believe in something hard enough, will it come true? I loved it.
Shortlisted for Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction at the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults 2017
Leonie Agnew may or may not be living in South America with a poodle named Juan. She informs us that her days are spent drinking sangrias and teaching Juan how to bark in Spanish, while trading sombreros on the black market via her iPad. However, our sources have located her in Auckland, New Zealand. They claim she is an award-winning children's author, a former copywriter, and currently moonlights as a primary school teacher. It is possible she has a tendency to make things up. This is called lying, unless you write it down - then it is pleasantly referred to as being an author.