Parents' Guide to

The Dream Bearer

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Compelling novel of boy's 12th summer in Harlem.

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This compelling novel of an empathetic boy's 12th summer is a bit like David's summer vacation: It wanders a bit, at times seems to lose focus, and doesn't seem to get much of anywhere. By the end of the story, not much has changed -- except David, who has deepened his understanding of and sympathy for his father.

Punctuated with vivid moments, especially Mr. Moses' stories, it holds readers through the vague, unresolved suspense that David feels every day as he watches his family fall apart and wonders why, and what he can do to save it. At times poignant, at times didactic, it raises many questions that are unresolved, and ends realistically. Though the situation hasn't really changed, David has grown, and therein lies hope.

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