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Nightmare Escape (Dream Jumper, Book 1) Paperback – June 28, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Ben has a gift, or maybe it's a curse-he hasn't decided yet. He can jump into other people's dreams. Unfortunately, more often than not, he ends up jumping into someone's nightmare instead. When some of Ben's classmates, including the girl of his own dreams, fall prey to a sleeping sickness, he knows he may be the only one who can save them. It won't be easy, though; someone or something in the dream world wants Ben's abilities for his own and will stop at nothing to get them. Ben will have to work with some strange new companions and learn to navigate the dream world before it's too late. Being the first in a series, the story is a little heavy on exposition, but it does do a good job of making the information enjoyable and creating a believable dream world as well as setting the stage for volumes to come. Turnbloom's art is reminiscent of Jeff Smith's and suits the tone and the characters nicely. Though there are a few inconsistencies, Grunberg's characters are all interesting and enjoyable. This is a quick, entertaining tale that will find a middle school audience. VERDICT A fun ride for middle schoolers looking for their next series.-Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From the Inside Flap
Ben has a problem. When he sleeps, he dreams, and when he dreams, they’re all nightmares! But he can also jump into other people’s dreams. So when his friends start falling victim to an evil dream monster that prevents them from waking, Ben knows he has to help them. Easier said than done when dreams can shift and the monster knows its way around the ever-changing landscape of the mind! With help from a talking rabbit who has a mysterious past, Ben just might be able to defeat the monster and save his friends . . . if he can figure out how to use the power within him against his enemies.
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There are currently two books in the Dream Jumper series. The idea for this series came from a dream that author (and actor) Greg Grunberg’s son had. The drawings are bright and cinematic feeling. They match perfectly with the story’s sense of adventure and mystery.
I really enjoyed this one. The concept reminds me of the Freddy Kruger movies, but this is much tamer - meant for the younger set. Ben is a great character and I really like him. I will try to read the second book too. I also think I will suggest we add this to our elementary school library.
Lucas Turnbloom is one of my favorite comic strip artists/writers. Any adults who like this book should check out his strip "Imagine This." (Not sure some parents would want their kids reading it, as it's dark and twisted, like "Pearls Before Swine.") But it's RIDICULOUSLY funny!