cover image The Other Felix

The Other Felix

Keir Graff. Roaring Brook, $15.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-59643-655-8

Graff, adult author and Booklist Online editor, pens a moody story about a boy contending with adversaries in both his waking and dream lives. Fourth-grader Felix is plagued by nightmares that take place in a forest thick with monsters; days aren’t much better, with Felix the target of a bullying new student, Chase. As things worsen during the day, they improve at night after Felix meets a boy in the forest, a boy named Felix who looks just like him. “Other Felix” is everything that Felix is not: capable, confident, and skillful at keeping the monsters at bay. But Felix soon learns that there’s more to Chase and the monsters than he realized, and discovers that Other Felix may not have all the answers. Graff populates his story with familiar characters—angry and overworked fathers, a bully with a troubled home life, and a quiet and insecure hero. But his skill at capturing the small, everyday details and dramas that loom large in children’s minds, as well as his avoidance of a too-neat ending, ought to linger with readers who share Felix’s introspective nature. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)