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THE DREAM STEALER

Author: Sid Fleischman

Illustrator: Peter Sis

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Publisher: Greenwillow Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Susana, who is 8, is upset because just before her best friend Consuelo Louisa moved, they had a fight. Consuelo Louisa left without saying goodbye, and now Susana is so upset she can't sleep. Outside her window, the Dream Stealer waits for her to fall asleep. Finally, just as something big is about to happen, the Dream Stealer pulls it away. Susana must find out what happened. But how? This is a lightly illustrated chapter book for transitional readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 8 to 12

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with a nearly 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter was fascinated by the story, but often asked us to read ahead to make sure nothing scary "popped out." Even still, she wanted us to continue reading and find out what happened to Susana's dream.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an engaging story that blends folktale, fantasy, and mystery. The short chapters help add to the suspense, and the narrator is an excellent storyteller. He holds your attention and leaves you hanging, forcing you to turn the page to find out what happens next. For all intents and purposes, there is just one illustration per chapter, while this could push it to more advanced readers, the type is still large and the margins nice and wide.

Pros: Suspense, a mystical creature, and friendship combine in this story about where your interrupted dreams go.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a lovely story and well worth the read.

If You Liked This Book, Try: FIN M'COUL: THE GIANT OF KNOCKMANY HILL   GHOST MEDICINE   THE SONGWEAVERS (The Notherland Journeys)

Educational Themes: This is an excellent example of folklore for older children. It would be interesting to find, contrast, and compare the various "dream stealers" in cultures around the world. Susana's search for her friend also lends itself to talking about missed opportunities and the price of anger.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - bedtime story, fantasy, Mexico

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009

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