From the New York Times bestselling author of the Secret Series comes a darkly funny middle-grade novel about a boy who wants the world to disappear. This fantastical quest for comfort and belonging is perfect for fans of classics like The Phantom Tollbooth and Coraline.
by Raphael Simon
Dial Books, April 2021
Mickey is angry all the time: at his divorced parents, at his sister, and at his two new stepmoms, both named Charlie. And so he can’t resist the ad inside his pack of gum: « Do you ever wish everyone would go away? Buy The Anti-Book! Satisfaction guaranteed. » He orders the book, but when it arrives, it’s blank—except for one line of instruction: To erase it, write it. He fills the pages with all the things and people he dislikes . . . Next thing he knows, he’s wandering an anti-world, one in which everything and everyone familiar is gone. Or are they? His sister soon reappears—but she’s only four inches tall. A tiny talking house with wings looks strangely familiar, as does the mysterious half-invisible boy who seems to think that he and Mickey are best buds. The boy persuades Mickey to go find the Bubble Gum King—the king, who resides at the top of a mountain, is the only one who might be able help Mickey fix the mess he’s made.
Full of humor and surprise, and slyly meaningful, this is a Wizard of Oz for today’s generation—a fantastical quest for comfort and belonging that will resonate with many, many readers.
Raphael Simon is an author who lives in Pasadena, CA, with his husband and twin daughters. He is definitely not the alter ego of infamously anonymous author Pseudonymous Bosch, writer of the New York Times bestselling Secret Series and the Bad Books.