Jake is a 12-year-old who lost his mother over 4 years ago, he’s also full of a lot of anger. His anger has pushed his friends away, has made it hard to communicate with his father and his sister, and is like a heavy weight around his shoulders. Through Jake’s dreaming, he explores entire worlds and characters that make frequent appearances. The difference is that Jake is a lucid dreamer, he can control his words and actions inside the dreams. Unfortunately, just as in school, his dreams have bullies too, and Jake is unsure how to handle it. He’s presented with a challenge in his recurring dreams and he’s scared to face it. But he’s warned, he must face the challenges, bully or not.
Naiman hit on some serious issues in Jake, Lucid Dreamer that affect children and adults alike, such as bullying, communication, and healing after loss with the guilt, sadness, and anger that come with it. Even through his anger, Jake was a strong character. His father, sister, and the kids at school all played important roles in his life and his dreams. His mother was a constant presence even though she had passed.
The story was well laid out and carried strong messages of healing. That when we reach out, we find allies. In parents, in friends that have suffered a loss in one way or another, and through his friend whose parents went through a divorce. When Jake started letting go of his anger, he was able to start letting more in and Naiman did a great job in telling it all. Jake, Lucid Dreamer is very well done, an encouraging and thoughtful read for any age.