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The Imaginary

Written by A. F. Harrold

Illustrated by Emily Gravett

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The Imaginary Review

Books of the Month Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

November 2014 Book of the Month   A richly visualised story which explores imaginary friends and the very special role they play in children’s lives. Amanda and her imaginary friend Rudger have the best of times playing together. While Amanda’s mother accepts the existence of Rudger she can’t actually see him. He is only visible to Amanda until the sinister Mr Bunting and the pale girl who travels with him turn up on the doorstep. Mr Bunting is searching out imaginaries with sinister intentions. When Amanda is hit by a car Rudger goes on the run and learns the rules of being an imaginary. Emily Gravett’s illustrations capture the hazy world of the imaginaries brilliantly.


The Imaginary Synopsis

Rudger is Amanda's best friend. He doesn't exist, but nobody's perfect. Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend - until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda's door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he's sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn't there survive without a friend to dream him up?     A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.

The Imaginary Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert review, some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'I love the idea of a world full of imaginaries who can only be seen by people with big imaginations. A very funny, quirky and exciting story with fantastic illustrations and a brilliant climax.' Read full review >
  • Lily Benner, age 10 - 'Cool, creepy, exciting and very different. I couldn't stop reading it.' Read full review >
  • Lucas, age 9 - 'I just loved this book!' Read full review >
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 11 - 'An unusual scary story but worth the read.' Read full review >
  • William longlands, age 10 - '8/10 - a good book but not for me.' Read full review >
  • Amelie Chatham, age 11 - 'If you have a vivid imagination this book is brilliant for you!' Read full review >
  • Lucy Minton, age 10 - 'I would give this book full marks for a truly enjoyable read.' Read full review >
  • Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12 – 'Wow,what a great book! A brilliant story unlike anything I have read before. I 'imagine' everyone(aged 9+) will enjoy this amazing adventure.'Read full review >
  • Luke Bauer, age 11 - 'Who knows who you can find in the back of a wardrobe! This book was well presented with amazing illustrations which made the book come alive.' Read full review >
  • Peace, age 9 - 'I enjoyed this book so much that I passed it on to my big sister, aged 11, who also loved it.' Read full review >

The Imaginary Press Reviews

Full of comical characters and disastrous situations, it will keep children entertained from beginning to end. Booktrust on Fizzlebert Stump

AF Harrold writes with a very distinctive, unusual and utterly charming voice in this warm and funny tale. ... Fabulous. -- Jeremy Strong The Guardian

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408850169
Publication date: 05/11/2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781408852460
Publication date: 23/10/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408852460
Publication date: 23rd October 2014
Author: A. F. Harrold
Illustrator: Emily Gravett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 240 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reviewed by Children

About A. F. Harrold

A.F. Harrold is an English poet (1975-present). He writes and performs for adults and children, in cabaret and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors. He was Glastonbury Festival Website's Poet-In-Residence in 2008, and Poet-In-Residence at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2010. He won the Cheltenham All Stars Slam Championship in 2007 and has had his work on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and BBC7. He is active in schools work, running workshops and slams and doing performances at ungodly hours of the morning, and has published several collections of poetry. He is the owner of many books, a handful of ...

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