The Dreamway

304p. HarperCollins/Harper. Oct. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062371119.
Gr 4–6—After Cole is attacked by a strange shadow creature in the subway after school, twin sister Stella notices something different about him. His usual cheerful and creative demeanor has been replaced with anger, and she is sure she sees him flicker. When a talking mouse shows up in her bedroom and takes her into the Dreamway, a subway of dreams, she learns that the shadowy creature is a Chimerath and that if she doesn't hurry, her brother's soul will be lost. She embarks on a journey throughout the Dreamway with help from the mouse named Anyway, a dragonfly called Spuddle, and her friend Alice, a wheelchair user who has the ability to use her legs in the Dreamway. The story is vaguely reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, with Stella's otherworldly adventures and the strange cast of non-human characters. The plot moves quickly through the different realms and transitions well between sleep and real life. The story resolves, but leaves enough open for the possibility of a second volume. Alice is a three-dimensional character, whose disability is treated with sensitivity and authenticity.
VERDICT With quirky secondary characters, a compelling plot, and room for a sequel, this is a strong purchase for medium and large middle grade collections.

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