The Anti-Book by Raphael Simon

Published by Dial Books

The Anti-Book: Simon, Raphael: 9780525552413: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Mickey’s pretty miserable with his life since his parents divorced and each found a new partner, and his sister’s dating a bully who makes Mickey’s life miserable.  So when he sees an ad inside a pack of his favorite bubble gum for an “anti-book” he decides he has nothing to lose by ordering it.  The book comes with some pretty simple instructions: “To erase it, write it.”  Mickey starts writing the things he wants to erase: his parents, his sister, her boyfriend, just about everything about school…he wears down a pencil filling the Anti-Book.  When he wakes up the next morning, though, he discovers he has, in fact, erased his world.  Can he bring it all back?  Trying to erase what he wrote creates further havoc, and Mickey has to travel through his new alternate world with some unusual companions to figure out how he can save everyone…including himself.  320 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  This book reminded me a little of The Phantom Tollbooth, with a character traveling into a new world to learn some important lessons about himself.  The world building is fun and clever, and Mickey makes some discoveries that will resonate with a lot of kids his age.  A conversation with his sister in the final few pages about his uncertainty about his sexuality will undoubtedly resonate with some readers as well.

Cons:  I’m not a big fan of The Phantom Tollbooth, so while I can appreciate this book it’s not going to become a personal favorite .

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