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The Other Felix Hardcover – October 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a satisfying tale in and of itself, as well as a helpful and sensitive guide for those children who are just learning to confront life's sticky challenges. The ending is exquisite. (School Library Journal)

...this tale of maturation and friendship is suitable for sharing between parents and their children. (BCCB)

[Graff's] 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. (Publishers Weekly)

This thoughtful, whimsical story promises rewards for those patient readers who stick with Felix till the end. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of several adult novels. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons. Visit him at keirgraff.com .

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 19 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436558
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,619,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Keir Graff's first book for kids, a middle-grade novel called The Other Felix, was judged "Best of the Best" by Chicago Public Library and was compared to The Little Prince by School Library Journal.

His adult novels set international politics on a local stage, where ordinary people are forced to confront the most challenging issues of the day -- often while racing a ticking clock.

Graff is an in-demand speaker at libraries, schools, and conferences. By day he is the editor of Booklist Online. To learn more, please visit www.keirgraff.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Felix lives in a big skyscraper apartment with his mom and dad and goes to a big school where he has no friends. And to make it worse, Chase, the new boy is a bully. At night when Felix goes to sleep he goes to a forest dream world where there is another Felix and together they learn how to make tools and fight the scary monsters that chase them. Can the lessons he learn in one world help him in the other?

In a lot of ways it reminded me of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Written on about a 3rd grade level,the younger reader will think of it as a great fantasy adventure. But, this is actually a very deep and psychologically rich book that will appeal to a much older audience as well. It was well written and really kept my interest. This is a great book to open a lot of literary discussion on contrast and comparison, and foreshadowing, to say nothing of dream interpretation.
I really did like this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By akaJune on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Other Felix was on display at a local bookseller here in Chicago, since the author is local. The design is great, and a quick scan seemed to show good writing, so my son and I took a chance on it, hard cover purchase and all. The outcome? Both he and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each chapter alternates between Felix's daytime routine: home and school; and his nighttime dreamland: a terrain of wilderness where he discovers monsters, and a boy just like him, a kind of boyhood survivalist also named Felix.

The daytime Felix gets up in the morning, interacts with his loving, very busy and at times distracted parents. (What parent or child can't relate to that?) Each day he goes to school, where a new kid has chosen to single him out and frame him with an in-class crime. Each chapter held new developments to the plot, and we couldn't wait to find out how and what (where and why...).
The nightime dreamland is very real to Felix, and so it is presented as real to the reader. My 7 year old son appreciated the excitement of escaping the monsters, and the discovery of this alternative world all Felix's own. The Other Felix teaches survivalist skills to Felix, and some meditative powers as well; the two have fun and struggle with each other as well, as Felix's visits continue.

The book is a suspenseful page turner, but it's got character depth and exploration that so many children's books do not have. Of course we enjoyed Harry Potter, and it's fantastical fast moving plot twists, but here is a really well written more contemplative and realistic story. I would argue that it's just as exciting, and more so for some, as all boys and girls struggle with fears at nighttime and as they maneuver with classmates and teachers during the school day. The Other Felix takes on those inner fears and struggles and offers resolution. It is so refreshing to find this new novel for children, and one that is so well written and dares to probe real childhood fears.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tessa Wegert on July 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Before Harry and Percy and Charlie (of Chocolate Factory fame), there was Bastian Balthazar Bux and one of the most imaginative children's books of all time, "The Neverending Story." This is the caliber of character and quality of tale that Keir Graff has crafted in "The Other Felix." The two books aren't without their similarities - in each one a boy slips in and out of a fantasy world where his courage is tested by creatures you wouldn't want to meet alone in the woods after dark. The difference lies in the amount of realism you'll encounter as you follow these children on their adventures. There's something so believable about Felix's life, and this is key, because his waking life is a critical part of the story that directly influences what happens once he falls asleep. In this way Graff keeps kids turning the pages as they try to anticipate how Felix's experience in one world will affect what happens in the other.

Call me nostalgic, but as I read more and more modern chapter books to my kids (and encourage the eldest of the two to read her own), I feel as though something is missing. A lot of the stuff you see out there these days is what my father wouldn't hesitate to call "drivel;" it's pretty and shiny but it lacks substance, and more than that, it lacks the ability to challenge kids the way the classics do. Between Felix himself and the author's robust language, "The Other Felix" is the antithesis of all those one-note children's books. It isn't being overly generous to say this is another classic in the making, a Neverending Story for a new generation of kids, with a new crop of problems and a new coping method for escape.

My children were simply enthralled. Parents will be, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SuzanneJ on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Felix is a young boy who lives in an urban high-rise with his parents. They are loving, but they are distracted by job and financial worries. Felix walks to the school across the street every morning alone and returns to his building to spend time in a neighbor's apartment until his parents arrive home from work. His world becomes even more complicated when he is faced with a new classmate who bullies him. As the tensions in his life mount, Felix begins dreaming about a forested environment inhabited by monsters and a boy who looks just like him, also named Felix. The Other Felix has learned to survive in his environment, and after a series of dramatic dream and real-life experiences, Felix begins to cope with the problems he faces--both in his dream world and in his day-to-day life.

I have read and admired the author's most recent work for adults and bought this book to share with my seven-year-old granddaughter, who enjoys mystery, fantasy, and adventure. I read the book to her over a period of three days and we both were very affected by it. Our readings led to many conversations between us. Why do people dream, and can dreams ever be real? What things do kids worry about that they don't discuss with their parents? What is the difference between fiction and non-fiction? Is it better to fight your enemies or find ways to get along with them? For me, the most valuable insight was the reminder that children hear, see, and intuit much more than we realize. In the case of a sensitive, smart child like Felix, the resulting tensions can become a true burden. This book has much to offer to inquiring children and to the adults in their lives.
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