Jake, Lucid Dreamer by David J. Naiman

The Synopsis:

12-year-old Jake has been suppressing his heartbreak over the loss of his mother for the past four years. But his emotions have a way of haunting his dreams and bubbling to the surface when he least expects it. When Jake learns how to take control in his dreams, he becomes a lucid dreamer, and that’s when the battle really heats up.

Using his wits to dodge bullies by day and a nefarious kangaroo hopping ever closer by night, Jake learns about loss, bravery, the power of love, and how you cannot fully heal until you face your greatest fear. This uncompromising novel is a magical yet honest exploration of emotional healing after a devastating loss.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.



If you could control your dreams, would you ever come back to the uncontrollable and unforgiving reality? 

Jake is a 12 year old boy battling the hostile territory of middle school while also learning how to cope with the death of his mother. Naturally, anger builds up and his denial of being “not okay” threatens to tear him away from his family, not physically, but emotionally.

Jake, Lucid Dreamer is now a permanent addition to my library. There are so many life lessons to be taught in this short book, but it teaches them flawlessly and in a simple, relatable, and entirely understandable way, especially for middle graders.

Jake is a troubled boy, but he is smart, he is compassionate, and he’s real with himself and others. The challenges he gives himself, and overcomes, provide a good example for middle graders to combat their problems creatively and in a way that actually solves the problems, not just tucks them away in a corner for a later day.

I enjoyed the wit displayed by multiple characters. The family qualities. The craziness of Jake’s dreams. And the puns. Oh, the puns!

It’s clean, funny, well written, and full of family values and life lessons. The only thing I feel the need to mention is that some of Jake’s dreams get a little weird (for example, in one dream a character suddenly vomits a bunch of hands…). None of his dreams ever turned horror or anything though, characters just did some weird things; as will happen in any dream.

Overall, I really loved this book. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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