The Girl Who Could Not Dream

by Sarah Beth Durst
First line: “Sophie had only ever stolen one dream.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy pilfered from the ARC shelves at my place of employment.
Content: There’s some mild scary moments, but the language and chapters are all short enough that a 3rd grader would enjoy this, even if it is a bit on the long side. It’s in the middle grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.

Sophie’s parents run a bookstore, which she loves. But, underneath the bookstore is her parents’ secret business: distilling and selling dreams. The way it works is that they give out dream catchers which actually catch dreams and then distill them through their machine in the basement. They then bottle the dreams and sell them. But Sophie doesn’t have dreams. She’s not allowed because the one time she did she brought a monster out of her dreams into the real world. In fact, that monster (called, appropriately, Monster) is her best friend.

Then a creepy guy called Mr. Nightmare comes to down and turns Sophie’s life upside down. He kidnaps a couple of her “friends” (she doesn’t really have friends) and her parents go missing. So it’s up to her and Monster and a new friend, Ethan, to figure out where Mr. Nightmare is keeping everyone, what his Evil Plan is, and how to rescue them.

It’s a fun little adventure, one in which Sophie learns not only how to stand up on her own, but how to be a friend. And she figures out that her power of bringing dream things alive is not something to be feared (as her parents had taught her) but something to be respected and maybe even celebrated.

Delightful.

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