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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Dilby R Dixon’s The Time Dreamer by Tony J. Perri takes us on a magical adventure through our imaginations. Dilby Dixon is an eleven-year-old just about to graduate from Elementary School and head off to Junior High. Dilby was once a non-entity among his schoolmates, the butt of jokes and bullying, but since Dilby introduced his peers to his Dilbonary (a collection of made-up words that Dilby has fashioned into a dictionary of sorts), Dilby has become a “cool kid” and not one to be messed with. Apart from his Dilbonary, Dilby has a secret that only his best friend, Grace, knows. Dilby is a Time Dreamer. Time Dreaming allows Dilby to travel to strange worlds in his imagination when he is asleep and to experience many things way above an eleven-year-old's usual environment. When Dilby discovers that he can bring people and things with him on his Time Dreams, and also bring things back from the places he visits, an exciting and enthralling summer is ahead for the three friends, Dilby, Grace and George.
Dilby R Dixon’s The Time Dreamer is aimed at a middle school audience and, as such, author Tony J. Perri hits the mark extremely well. The concept of time dreaming is not something I have come across before and, as a unique construct, it allows young readers to believe and hope that there is something special about them, no matter what their circumstances. I particularly enjoyed the way the author was able to weave moral messages into Dilby’s thoughts and ideas without coming across as too preachy. The author’s use of words from the Dilbonary for a number of common things from the story was clever. This is a sweet, almost a coming-of-age story as Dilby begins slowly to explore the feelings that may exist between himself and his best friend/possible girlfriend Grace. Totally age appropriate, this is a great adventure read for middle school aged children. I enjoyed this unique and gripping story.