What if dreams are more real than waking life?
Life is already complicated enough for Awa Bryant when she starts having weird dreams – waking dreams – and strange coincidences start appearing in her real life.
She meets dreamcharmer, Veila, a quirky glowing creature who helps to guide Awa through the mysterious Dreamrealm.
At first the Dreamrealm is a glorious escape from Awa’s daily struggles but something is not right… Soon Awa discovers she has a bigger quest, and everything she cares about is at stake. Will she be brave enough to face her fears and save her friends?
Review | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Awa’s mom ended up being my favorite character. I’m always drawn to characters that fight injustice head-on, and that is precisely what she does. A mom that, despite being caught up in an emotional transition herself, never loses sight of Awa’s needs or fails to notice when Awa is struggling emotionally. When she finds out that Awa is being bullied (socially) by a girl in her new school, she doesn’t accept the way the Principal plans on handling it. Instead, she insists on her way, which proved to be very effective.
What I Like About Awa and the Dreamrealm
It is perfect for the ages of the intended audience (older elementary – middle school). I love that the story covers so many typical but still very impactful problems facing that age group – social bullying, interest in the opposite sex, parental divorce, and changing schools.
I love that Awa learns to cope with her problems in a fantastical way. It gives the story mystery and wonder and keeps the pages flipping, as I couldn’t wait to find out what happens. The dreamrealm is a beautiful metaphor for what’s going on inside, very similar to Alice’s Wonderland. I wish my dreams would take me to such a beautiful world where anything is possible.
I loved that the story focused on typical issues and responses rather than extreme ones, which seem to be a trend today. My biggest critique of stories for MG and YA is that they make problems and answers that are very rare seem typical, and they aren’t. What Awa is going through is real and it is hard, but many readers will be able to empathize with her and learn how to cope as Awa learns to cope.
Awa and the Dreamrealm is an excellent book for parents and their middle-grade children to read together and discuss. It quickly creates that opening, so many parents and kids want to have. With those conversations comes to power for all involved – the ability to conquer the shadows.
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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