This book made me happy. It wasn't a perfect book, but it was just such a fun and silly and joyful book. It tells the story of a young boy, Hank, whosThis book made me happy. It wasn't a perfect book, but it was just such a fun and silly and joyful book. It tells the story of a young boy, Hank, whose best friend has just moved away before the start of their fourth grade. Before school even starts, he discovers a mysterious invisible creature living in his family's ice cream shop. It is NOT imaginary, but a real creature, who is stubborn and wants squash for a variety of reasons. Hank has to start school, where he confronts a bully and discovers a friend. It was interesting to see how the bully was portrayed, since bullying has been such a big thing in the news. This book has a more old fashioned view of bullying, where no one takes it very seriously and the person being bullied is frequently blamed. The fact that Hank tells SO many people that he is being bullied and that not ONE person takes it seriously kind of seemed a sore spot, also the way that Hank finally manages to get the bully to avoid him seems counter to the message of the book. However, I did like the way the book ended and the issue of Inkling was dealt with. Even though this is a story about growing up, bullies, friends, real and imaginary, it is not preachy. Even though the dad proclaims himself a pacifist Hank makes up his own mind.
Overall a fun read, that seems more suitable for the younger middle grade reader, 3rd to 4th grade.