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The Dream Dealer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2011
I am a teacher and someone gave me a copy of "The Dream Dealer". I tried it out on some 11/12 year olds and they absolutely adored it. However, I had a fairly bright and advanced group of 9 year olds as my class this year and, as we had finished all our usual class-readers, I decided to give it a go with them. It was a roaring success and I almost had to fight to get the books in at the end of the reading sessions. I didn't dare leave them in their desks as I knew that several of them would read to the end and spoil the story for the others.
They loved Finn and were totally engrossed and excited when the children were lured towards the Dream Dealer's van to have their souls stolen. One child, who just happened to be the girl of a non-identical pair of twins, was so absorbed that, while we were reading the bit where Finn finally decided that he might try an ice-dream, she actually shouted out, "Don't Finn, don't!" I've never known such concentration and captivation in a story in all my 30 years of reading stories with children.
It also stimulated much class discussion. It gave us the opportunity to talk about Mother Nature - the power of nature and the balance within it and importance of caring for our environment. We talked about 'the soul' and what we thought it was. We touched on playground bullying and family values. We talked about the importance of being honest and open. The book was an invaluable source of discussion topics and even encouraged my less able pupils to read and join in with class debate. I hope there's a sequel on the way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2011
I really loved this beautifully told tale of a young boy and his fateful encounters with the evil Dream Dealer. Certainly as edifying as it is engrossing, the novel, with its richly layered plot, is full of surprising twists and turns which keep the reader on their toes to the very end. Flitting between soaring fantasy and the everyday trials and tribulations of being a teenager is one of the author's great strengths here and it is in those pared-down moments when the focus falls on the characters' families and friendships that the book packs its emotional punch. Though evidently intended for a young readership, this is at times a dark story, highlighting how badly mankind can treat one another but ultimately celebrating the enduring goodness of the human spirit. A truly special book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2011
This book is a rare gem - engaging, touching, exciting and most importantly- thoroughly original. The characters spring to life, from the mysteriously charismatic Dream Dealer and his odious sidekick to brave Delphi, lonely Finn and a mischievous pet mouse called Hercules.

Your imagination will run riot as the world of reality wars with a fantastical mind-spinning story of hallucinatory ice- creams, earth-imps, mysterious strangers and jars of souls.

I read it cover to cover in one sitting- you'll be hooked till the last page!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2011
My daughter couldn't put this book down. I find it really comforting to get reviews before my children read books and I can recommend this to any parent who cares about what their children read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2011
Loved this book and although I am 54 I read into the night until I had finished it!
I am recommending it to my nephews who are 11 and 13. Any age would enjoy it as you can see.
Gripping, well written, full of colour and charm. moral and fun. Great first book and looking forward to the next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2011
An engaging and edifying book that will capture the imagination of any young reader. The characters are charming and wonderfully described, and they highlight the strength of human relationships and friendships that triumph against everyday temptations and tribulations. The book is cleverly layered with suspense, fear, humour and great tenderness- it is an enchanting story and an absolute joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2012
Marita Phillips's gripping story manages to get good characters and characterisation, exciting plot and home truths about disrespect for Mother Nature into a book that was enjoyed equally by a 71-year-old granny and her 9-year-old granddaughter, both of whom finished it within a day rather than put it down. Highly recommended.
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This is a book which will engage and retain the attention of children from as little as 7 to 14, as its accessible but imaginative style will delight the younger reader (or listener - it is a perfect book to read aloud),and demand the concentration of the older ones. As well as providing an enchanting mix of the real and the imaginary, and subtly mixing the two in surprising and sometimes exciting ways, it tells a heatwarming story of loss and re-discovery, temptation, near-despair and redemption. The world is seen largely throught the eyes of Finn, the hero of the book, who just manages to navigate his way through a world threatened by the Dream Dealer and his impish sidekick. Fast moving, easy to read and follow, but never predictable, the story will subtly enrich the moral imagination of the reader (or the read-to)in a way which many will carry with them through their childhood and beyond.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2011
Like all the best books for children, this can be read on several different levels and by all ages.
I am 64 and was entranced. We need to hear more from this author.
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on 6 April 2011
I bought this for my little sister, but couldn't resist having a read of it first. I was addicted - not unlike the children with their Ice-Dreams! The characters are wonderful, from the likeable Finn to the sinister Dream Dealer himself. I liked the dark elements of the book, as well as its cautionary message, and can really see this appealing to a huge range of readers.
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