This book is about a boy called Charlie Benjamin – a boy with a great imagination. But Charlie’s imagination is so powerful that when he has a nightmare, the nightmare creature gets portaled directly into the room where he’s sleeping! In this story, we see how this causes a lot of problems for Charlie, including his parents becoming over-protective of him and isolating him from other children. People are afraid of him and he doesn’t fit in anywhere. I was just beginning to feel very sorry for Charlie when, all of a sudden, Nightmare Academy comes along and lfie becomes very different for him.
Lots of adventures with monsters and strange creatures enter the scene. At this point in the book, we are shown how Charlie discovers that his powerful imagination can be used in a postiive way, e.g. dealing with bullies. The way others see him changes – he is no longer seen as strange. There’s a place for him in the world after all.
Dan Lorey opens the story by showing us how lonely and alone Charlie is, bringing instant ready sympathy, and then quickly moves into zany humour. The humour and the array of characters who support Charlie and look out for him, help to bring lightness to the story. Althought the monsters are presented as a threat, they never seem truly scary.
Charlie is a likeable character, easy to identify with and care about. He starts out lonely and isolated but in the end becomes a hero. Charlie reminds me very much of Harry Potter. His feelings of loneliness and isolation at the start of the book can be compared with Harry’s feelings at the beginning of the Harry Potter series.
Rating: 9/10 – Don’t let the cover fool you! If you’re looking for a fun, fantasty read, check this book out. I enjoyed reading it immensely.