4 Minutes Reading Time
I’ve received an advance readers copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
It wasn’t until she went upstairs to her room that she checked the journal out. The padded leather cover around the book felt nice to touch. “If you can write it, dream it,” read the raised words on the front cover.CAAB Publishing. Lizzie’s Dream Journal Formatted (Kindle Locations 194-196). Kindle Edition.
Charlie King lives in London and has started writing at an early age. He considers writing to be a hobby. On his blog, Charlie reviews books, TV shows and films. He also writes satirical articles and his observations of his life as an author. He works as a legal assistant, and when he is not writing, he relaxes by watching TV or playing video games.
Charlie published his first book in 2017. Lizzie’s Dream Journal is his third book, published in December 2020.
The loss of her father shakes Lizzie. But even more, she is ashamed. Her Dynamic Dad hero has fallen from grace. He tripped and fell from a building, and the police found him with a rat mask. The burglars used the same maks in the robbery. Her cop father turned out to be a criminal.
At school, she doesn’t tell anyone what happened to her dad and resent her teachers treating her differently from the other children. She faces ongoing bullying by three other girls. One of them is the sister of her only friend, Sophie. But Sophie doesn’t stand up for her, which is why she breaks up their friendship.
Lizzie’s mom gets her a journal to write anything she wants, as suggested by a school counsellor. But it turns out to be a magic journal, as everything Sophie writes in her journal happens in her dreams.
Through her dreams and the stories she writes in her magic journal, Lizzie starts to deal with the loss of her dad, her sense of betrayal in real life and her dreams and the bullying she experiences at school. She comes out stronger, renews her friendship with Sophie, and puts the bullies in their place.
My take on Lizzie’s Dream Journal
Loss and betrayal
Lizzie’s Dream Diary addresses many issues that children face in today’s world. The main problem for Lizzie is the loss of her dad. She feels betrayed because he didn’t die a hero’s death – he fell off a building and turned out to be a criminal. It seems as if he was part of the burglary that took place. But even more, the shame she feels ashamed because of the way he died.
She also feels betrayed by Sophie for not standing up for her against her sister and her friends, by Rodford in her dreams, and by Mr Ridgeley (the teacher she likes the most.)
Bullying is an issue that many children face. Not only daily at school but due to technological advances also online. We have to realise that bullying is not only physical, and the unseen mental scars can often be much worse. Calling children ugly names, belittling, and mocking them can be devastating for a young child still establishing her identity and is often harder to spot than physical bullying.
Through her dreams and the stories in her journal, Lizzie faces and overcomes many challenges, which helps her deal with issues in her real life. Her biggest accomplishment is overcoming fear, which is a bully’s biggest weapon.
Do you suspect your child is being bullied? Head over to In the Rabbit Hole for some insightful information about bullying and how you can help your child.
The author uses various symbols throughout the narrative. In her dreams, Rodford symbolises the betrayal Lizzie feels, and Dr Ofdor represents the many challenges she faces. Ridgeley (named after her favourite teacher) stands for her mother and brother, the people she relies on to support her. It is ironic that Ridgeley the rat is always there for Lizzie in her dreams, but in real life, Mr Ridgeley, her teachers betrayed her.
Should you get Lizzie’s Dream Journal for your child?
I recommend Lizzie’s Dream Journal, a fantasy story for middle graders. It deals with many issues these age groups face at school and in life. Not only will they be able to associate with the story and characters, but through Lizzie’s stories and dreams, they can find ways to deal with their challenges. Many children will enjoy having a journal to write in, and it can even lead to the birth of a new author.
Another book you can consider reading with your child is Twisty Tales, Vol. 1. Because we all know life is hard, and humour often saves the day. Read this collection of funny stories to brighten up your reading time with your child.
Did your child enjoy this book? Please let us know in the comments!
Susan van der Walt is an avid reader of genres like crime, thrillers, adventure, and true stories. On Read or Rot she shares her favourite books and quotes with you. She also writes articles, book reviews and book recommendations. She lives in Alberton (South Africa) with her husband, Warrick, and fur baby, Pixie.