Imaginary Boy

Imaginary Boy 
By: Mark Eldrich 


"We often need to go through scary and unpleasant things to find that which we need the most." 

The Story 

Eleven-year-old Benji Saintaubin dreams of becoming a hero like the ones in the books he reads while banished in the dark attic of his family home. But those heroes are all strong and handsome, not like Benji who uses a crutch and hides his disfigured face. When his father dies, leaving behind an unfinished story about an imaginary boy who must defeat a cruel and mighty dragon, Benji’s safe and secluded world is turned upside down.

After venturing out of the attic and onto the perilous streets of 19th century London, Benji finds himself separated from his mother in a frightening and unfamiliar world. Nearly trampled to death and sold into slavery, Benji comes to believe his father’s story may be more fact than fiction after his captor reveals a dragon-tail tattoo around his arm and plans that could destroy Benji. If he ever hopes to escape, be reunited with his mother and finish his father’s cryptic story, Benji must trust that a crippled boy can discover the unseen power needed to defeat a brutal and powerful dragon.

Provided by Goodreads 


The plot of this story is just brilliant. I think a lot of reviews fail to mention that this book
 is a mystery story.

The mystery is surrounding a mysterious creature that is killing large amounts of people on the streets of London. With a serial killer on the loose, the city is uneasy. When Benji's mom looses Benji in the city, Benji unintentionally gets thrown into the middle of this mystery & face to face with the killer. Benji must overcome the "dragon" and save the city.

I think many kids will enjoy trying to solve this mystery and rooting for Benji in the process. It has the kid appeal and the historical value to make it special.

This is the first well done middle grade book that I have read that details the horrible circumstances that people with disabilities endured in the 1900s.  It is done in a way that is appropriate for kids, but books like this are an asset to libraries and to kids. There just aren't many of them. 


I  love  the beginning of this book. It details the story that Benji's dad told him about dragons. 

I thought it was clever how the author wove this in, but I think it could be confusing to some middle grade readers. I think it could have worked out better as an introductory chapter instead. 

Overall though, I was really impressed with this book. I wasn't expecting to like it, but it is one that I want to buy and keep in my own collection. I can't wait to read more works by this author. 

What did you think? 


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