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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Dilby R. Dixon’s The Dilbonary is a children’s fantasy tale of triumph over bullying, written by Tony J. Perri. Born ten years ago during a power outage during a thunderstorm, Dilby Dixon is (once again) bullied on his way home from school by a student renowned for his pettiness and undesirable behavior, Riley Rogers, along with his sidekick wannabes, Johnny and Billy. In humiliation, the troublesome trio is brought down a notch or two by a girl, Grace Billings, who attends Goodwin Elementary School with them all. Daydreaming seems to be constantly taking Dilby to fantasy worlds, but he decides one day to start documenting each daydream when an amazing phenomenon occurs, and he brings physical items out from his subconscious. At Dilby’s home, a whole new language is born from Dilby’s subconscious. Now known as the world’s first time-dreamer, Dilby has a target on his back which is larger than life, as Riley will stop at nothing to get his hands on the book which carries all of Dilby’s most incredible thoughts, secrets and experiences... The Dilbonary.
I grabbed this book as Dilby seemed so much like myself in many ways, and I just had to find out more about him. The fantasy aspect which has been sculpted into this incredible storyline is amazing, and it is hard not to empathize with Dilby R. Dixon, whilst admiring the literary talents and imagination of Tony J. Perri. Bullying is such a controversial topic and Riley, Johnny and Billy seem to take the crown at Goodwin Elementary School, but soon find that there is a lot more to Dilby R. Dixon than just a dopey daydreamer who is an easy target. When friends started rallying around young Dilby, I couldn’t help but cheer out loud (much to the dismay of my sleeping husband). The uniquely amazing ability to journey into one’s own imagination and come back with souvenirs is any child’s fantasy, as well as that of many adults, and I couldn’t help but pray Dilby would use his new-found skills not only to help others, but to also find a way to help himself triumph over the rotten treatment he’d grown used to by the school bullying trio. I will not spoil the ending for any of you, but will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the worthwhile journey that my own mind took while reading Dilby R. Dixon’s The Dilbonary, and highly recommend it to children aged 7-15 (and older audiences as well) who enjoy turbulent travel into adventures of one’s mind and beyond.