Sign up for our newsletters! Imaginary friends. What child doesn't have one at sometime or other during his or her childhood? For a young boy named Max who fears any change in his routine, doesn't like to be touched, and becomes very agitated when he must use a public restroom an imaginary friend can be comforting. Max, who attends special ed classes, is "somewhere on the autism spectrum," though his father disagrees vehemently with this diagnosis. Max imagined Budo into existence five years ago, and takes his job as Max's friend and protector very seriously.
Unlike other imaginary friends, Budo never even sleeps. Sometimes he watches television with Max's parents. Budo can't be seen or heard by anyone except Max and other imaginary friends, so folks sometimes assume Max is mumbling to himself when he is really talking to Budo. Because he is invisible, Budo is privy to a lot of interesting and sometimes disturbing information, but it's almost impossible for him to get help from real people when Max needs it.
This story of friendship, loyalty, courage and imagination will stay with the reader long after the last page has been read. Instead of having just one teacher, Max has several. But his favorite is Mrs. She makes learning fun and doesn't talk down to her students. Max feels comfortable in her class, as comfortable as he can feel anywhere except at home. He lives inside himself, has no friends, and likes to be left alone. When he gets upset or confused, he sometimes gets what Budo calls "stuck," and it can take quite a while for that condition to wear off. Budo knows that when Max no longer believes in him, Budo will cease to exist, which frightens and worries him a great deal.
He loves Max and wants to stay with him. He is more perceptive than Max and can sort things out that Max can't. This ability of Budo's to reason a problem through often keeps Max out of trouble. Budo has a lot of companions other imaginary friends. One is shaped like a spoon, one is a pink hair bow, one is just a blob.
Oswald is an unusual one because he can actually touch things and make things happen, though he cannot slip through a door or window the way that Budo can.
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Patterson is a paraprofessional at Max's school who thinks she knows what is best for Max, and in her view it isn't the special education classes or even Max's parents. Budo doesn't like Mrs. Patterson at all, and he doesn't trust her.
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