Nick is starting third grade at a new school and already the bully, Nick Berger, is taken his measure and taken his lunchbox. Nick wishes he knew how to stand up to Nick and his henchmen but for now his best defense is escaping through his imagination into Adventure Time. When he's in Adventure Time, he always has his faithful dog, King, with him for protection. One day Max goes into a special store in his imagination and finds himself being offered to have a wish come true. Magically, a twenty dollar bill appears in his pocket and Max pays for the wish and then asks for a real dog. He expects a dog like King and is deeply disappointed when a stray comes into his home- a stray that he names Ratty. Day by day Max struggles with Nick and with Ratty. Sometimes we wish for something that we think we want and really can't live without and life in its infinite wisdom gives us something else. As in the case of Max, we don't recognize the value of life's gift and Max is about to find out that Ratty was just such a gift. While this lesson is taking place, the wonderful gift of a friend is making his way into Max's life as well. Perhaps he won't need quite so many trips into his world of make believe now that he has a real friend to share his real adventures.
Arthur A. Levine