Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: Jake, Lucid Dreamer
Author: David J. Naiman
Publisher: Kwill Books
Published: May 4th, 2018
This is targeted at Middle Grade readers but, I have to say, I believe it will appeal to older readers, too – I found it an emotive and very moving read. Jake is twelve years old, having problems coping with the untimely death of his Mum which happened four years earlier and being bullied at the Middle School he attends. Suppressing his grief has resulted in Jake having anger issues and very vivid dreams, ones in which he is aware he’s dreaming and is able to manipulate some of the events in them. Through his dreams he learns to face his fears and starts to develop strategies to help himself come to terms with everything.
It is a story of coping with tragedy, grief and loss, showing how differently he, his father and sister do so. It also deals with the issue of bullying and shows how Jake is helped by peers and teachers as well as his own ingenuity to deal with this. I really liked how Jake helped others recognise the positive traits of others who were being being denigrated by fellow peers. There’s even a hint at a first romance developing and other fantastic characters like a kicking kangaroo, terrifying turtles and an orangutang – you’ll have to read it yourself to discover what they get up to!
This is a story of growing up, admitting mistakes and talking things through, brilliantly told. The ending is so moving it had me in tears. It is a story not just for those who have suffered such losses but should also be read by others as it could help them understand what those coping with grief or bullying are going through, encouraging compassion and understanding – and is a great story in its own right, anyway!
I requested and received a copy of this novel after reading the synopsis. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
12-year-old Jake has been suppressing his heartbreak over the loss of his mother for the past 4 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 become 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 leans 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 brutally honest exploration of emotional healing after a devastating loss.
About the Author:
After graduating from Wesleyan University, David J. Naiman obtained his medical degree at New York University School of Medicine and trained in the primary care internal medicine program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Writing nights and weekends, he published the award-winning #1 Amazon bestselling novel Didn’t Get Frazzled, a work of humorous medical fiction for adults, under the pen name David Z Hirsch.
From there, David turned to children’s literature to pursue the themes of family, friendship and the magic of childhood that continue to inspire him. Jake, Lucid Dreamer is his first middle grade novel.
When he’s not writing, David toils in the front lines of primary care, battling scourges like diabetes, heart disease, and insurance companies, although probably not in that order. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two sons. Visit his website at www.davidjnaiman.com.