I read this book many years ago as a kid and I remember it being the first book that made me really laugh out loud so that people stared at me. It's not just funny, though. In the protagonist, Conrad Pike, there's a character that kids can identify with. Conrad is clever but misunderstood, frustrated with his childhood and in constant conflict with his dad. He begins to have fantasies about the second world war that become increasingly real, even leaking evidence into the here and now. These incidents lead Conrad into adventures that are exciting and at times, immensely moving and always howlingly funny. A great book. Buy it and read it to your kids.