cover image Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier

Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier

Michelle Cuevas. Dial, $16.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-525-42755-1

This wise and funny (faux) memoir begins with eight-year-old narrator Jacques Papier admitting that he is baffled by his unpopularity. It isn’t that he’s picked last for kickball—he isn’t picked at all. Teachers ignore him, bus drivers close the door in his face, his own dog growls at him. Luckily Jacques’s twin sister, Fleur, loves him unconditionally. A playground encounter with a roller-skating cowgirl only Jacques can see forces a harsh reckoning—he isn’t Fleur’s brother; he’s her imaginary friend. One day he was a boy, the next he is “what? Ethereal? Intangible? Invisible?” In one of many hilarious scenes, he joins a support group, Imaginaries Anonymous, whose leader, Stinky Sock, invites Jacques to tell the group why he is there. “I’m not actually here. That’s why I’m... here,” says Jacques. In the same way that Toy Story 2 imagined an afterlife for the playthings kids outgrow, Cuevas’s novel—brimming with metaphors, gorgeous imagery, and beautiful turns of phrase—considers the fate of devoted but invisible companions. Have tissues on hand for the bittersweet ending. Ages 9–12. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.)