Book: The Day I was Erased (2019)
Author: Lisa Thompson
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Basic plot: Maxwell has a habit of getting in trouble… for everything. And when he makes a wish that he no longer existed, poof! his wish comes true. Now, nobody knows who he is. Not his father or mother. Not his sister or best friend. And suddenly, he realizes that, if he never existed, then his beloved dog wouldn’t exist either… because it was Maxwell who had saved the dog from certain death. Now, all Maxwell wants is to exist again, and he’s on a mission to figure out how to make that happen.
1) While It’s a Wonderful Life is never mentioned in the book (not that I recall, anyway), this book has a lot of parallels… Except it’s the teen edition! And it’s set in the UK. (Bonus for me, since it’s one of my favourite movies!) I love how it slowly dawns on Maxwell how important he is to those around him.
2) My favourite character, by far, was Reg, the neighbour. Reg is so forgetful, even on a good day! Maxwell constantly has to remind him who he is. And so, he’s the perfect guy for the non-existent Maxwell to crash with. The best part is how Reg’s forgetfulness plays into the plot in other ways!
3) It’s interesting to see how Maxwell interacts with his sister and best friend after he ceases to exist… how different they are in this alternate world. I like the bit about how he calls his friend Charlie Geek (because he’s a bit of a geek), only to realize that Charlie never really liked the nickname but never could tell the old Maxwell.
4) In some ways, I think it’s the dog’s disappearance affects Maxwell the most. He has such a good relationship with Monster (the dog).
5) The little historical tidbits (no spoilers!) sprinkled throughout added a nice little mystery for Maxwell to solve. I knew some of the references, but the other ones were new to me… I definitely found that information very interesting! And I like how it all connects to his disappearance.
6) Chris Danger does the artwork on the front cover (see above). What’s cool (for me) is that he’s the illustrator who illustrated my magazine story! When I went to his website to see his work, I saw this book cover and said to myself: “Hey! I have that book!” 🙂
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) A few of Maxwell’s antics at the beginning initially made me not like him very much. I usually don’t mind antics, but especially the one with lights just seemed a little too premeditated to me.
I enjoyed this book, especially how Lisa Thompson was able to weave history in with an It’s a Wonderful Life story line. The little bit of mystery is also a bonus.
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…