3 reviews

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend
by Matthew Dicks

Published: 2012-08-21
Hardcover : 320 pages
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46 clubs reading this now
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Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members

Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination—the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend . . . real or otherwise

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ...

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Imaginary friend Budo narrates this heartwarming story of love, loyalty, and the power of the imagination—the perfect read for anyone who has ever had a friend . . . real or otherwise

Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

Max is different from other children. Some people say that he has Asperger’s Syndrome, but most just say he’s “on the spectrum.” None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can’t protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy.

When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him—and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max’s happiness or Budo's very existence.

Narrated by Budo, a character with a unique ability to have a foot in many worlds—imaginary, real, child, and adult— Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend touches on the truths of life, love, and friendship as it races to a heartwarming . . . and heartbreaking conclusion.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.



Here is what I know:
My name is Budo.
I have been alive for five years.
Five years is a very long time for someone like me to be alive.
Max gave me my name.
Max is the only human person who can see me.
Max’s parents call me an imaginary friend.
I love Max’s teacher, Mrs. Gosk.
I do not like Max’s other teacher, Mrs. Patterson.
I am not imaginary.


I am lucky as imaginary friends go. I have been alive for a lot longer than most. I once knew an imaginary friend named Philippe. He was the imaginary friend of one of Max’s classmates in preschool. He lasted less than a week. One day he popped into the world, looking pretty human except for his lack of ears (lots of imaginary friends lack ears), and then a few days later, he was gone. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1.“I am not imaginary,” says Budo.
Do you believe him?

2. Max’s mother wants desperately to understand
what is wrong with Max, while his father wants
desperately to believe that there is nothing wrong.
Who do you side with?

3. Budo seems to watch a lot of television. How do
his viewing habits shape his perception of the

4. Budo straddles many worlds: child and adult; real
and imaginary. Could the same be said for other
characters in this book?

5. Mrs. Patterson did a terrible thing. But is there
any way in which her actions may have been
beneficial to Max?

6. What does Budo fear most? Why does he think
that Max’s mom and dad are his biggest danger?

7. The author, Matthew Dicks, is an elementary
school teacher. In what ways can you see the
influence of this “day job” on his writing?

8. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child, and
if so, which imaginary friend from the book most
resembles your imaginary friend? If you didn’t
have an imaginary friend, do you wish you had
one? Who from the book would you have chosen
to be your imaginary friend?

9. What is your interpretation of the epilogue
of the book?

10. Did you ever have a teacher as important to
you as Mrs. Gosk is to Max and Budo?
Who was your Mrs. Gosk?

Suggested by Members

Use the readers questions that you get online.
by lindaj143 (see profile) 01/29/14

How does Oswald's ability to touch the real world change your impression of
Based on your own experience with imaginary friends (yours, your kids, other kids you know), what does the variety of descriptions of imaginary friends say about the imaginations of children?
by mystryrdr (see profile) 09/12/13

What would you name your imaginary friend and what would it look like?
by Wvgirlygirl27 (see profile) 07/02/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub


“A novel as creative, brave, and pitch-perfect as its narrator, an imaginary friend named Budo, who reminds us that bravery comes in the most unlikely forms. It has been a long time since I read a book that has captured me so completely, and has wowed me with its unique vision. You've never read a book like this before. As Budo himself might say: Believe me.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Sing You Home

“Wholly original and completely unputdownable. MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND is a captivating story told in a voice so clever and honest I didn’t want it to end. The arresting voice of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME with the emotional power of ROOM and the whimsy of DROP DEAD FRED, but in a class of its own.” —Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters

"An incredibly captivating novel about the wonder of youth and the importance of friendship, whether real or imagined. Delightfully compelling reading." --Booklist

"[A] fun read and engaging exploration of the vibrant world of a child's imagination." --Publishers Weekly

"Quirky and heartwarming" --Kirkus

"Funny, poignant . . . Budo's world is as realistic as he is imaginary. We would all be lucky to have Budo at our sides. Reading his memoir is the next best thing." --Library Journal

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Tina F. (see profile) 07/26/20

by Meagan P. (see profile) 06/22/18

by Tonya C. (see profile) 05/31/18

  "This is an excellent exploration into the minds and coping mechanisms of children whose needs may be unusual and unexpected. "by Gail R. (see profile) 10/16/16

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Matthew Dicks, author; Matthew Brown, narrator
When I noticed this book, I thought it was about the struggles of the family and child with autism to adjust a
... (read more)

by Amy O. (see profile) 03/30/16

  "Page Turner"by Melissa K. (see profile) 10/21/15

This book was very well written. I was hesitant about the selection at first because I don't have kids, but I ended up enjoying it. The book was a little slow at first, but close to the end you really... (read more)

by Cynthia D. (see profile) 08/24/14

  "Seems like a Young Adult Read"by Cheryl K. (see profile) 02/19/14

The story was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. Did not generate much conversation at our meeting. It's a book I would say is fine. The author certainly understood the thoughts of... (read more)

  "Loved it!"by Mariana D. (see profile) 02/16/14

Although I thought the story line was slow in the beginning, the rest was so good! It made you want to reach in and help Budo and Max! It made me laugh and it made me cry!

  "Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend"by Linda J. (see profile) 01/29/14

A book that is very informative. One that I would read to a classroom of children so that may grasp a better understanding of Autism. I would however leave out or change some of the words to fit the... (read more)

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