I have absolutely no idea what my driver’s license number is, but I’ve had my library card number memorized for a long time. I saw ‘Memoirs’ on the shelf at Target, and it was among the ten or so titles I texted myself and put on hold. It was the only one that made the cut and that I actually read, but it was worth digging through the other titles for.
‘Memoirs’ is told from the point of view of Budo, eight-year-old Max Delaney’s imaginary friend. Max has autism, and Budo has been his imaginary friend for five years, which makes him ancient in imaginary friend world. Budo is concerned about the point in time when Max will stop believing in him–Budo will then disappear and cease to exist.
He witnesses the death/disappearance of several of his friends, who are imaginary friends of other children. He struggles between his love for Max, and wanting the best thing for him, and the desire for his own existence.
Budo even addresses heaven, and explains that he doesn’t think he will go there, because God created heaven for the people He created, and Budo was just imagined by Max, so Budo will just stop existing, and there will be no afterlife for him.
‘Memoirs’ made me laugh and cry, and, living in a house full of boys, I can attest that the author really captures what little boys think about—-poop, wedgies, bullies, legos and Star Wars, among other things.
The unselfishness and sacrifice Budo wrestles with is profound. Budo seems like such a human like character (and he is very human-like, because Max imagined him that way. Some imaginary friends are inanimate objects, such as a hair bow with eyes, or even just a black spot on the wall.) and his knowledge of the world even surpasses Max’s.
I was so struck by the depth and complexity of Budo—or rather, in his simplicity, he revealed the depth and complexity of the humans he was surrounded with. Budo recognizes that the villain in the story isn’t 100% evil—they are a person who is both good and bad.
I absolutely adored this book. It was unlike anything I had ever read, was extremely thought provoking, and had only a very small bit of offensive language in it.
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