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About the Book

An eleven-year-old boy copes with the challenges of his city life by weaving his reality into a magical realm of dragons, foxes, and trolls—until he must use the power of his creativity to save both of his worlds from destructive forces. This stunning debut is a profound exploration of imagination, community, and how the stories we tell both comfort us and challenge us to grow.

Charles’ life is split between two worlds: one real and one fantasy. In the real world, he is a lonely, bullied kid who can’t keep up with school when the letters refuse to stay still on the page, and is constantly in trouble for getting distracted. He lives with his mom in an apartment building, where Glory, the grumpy old superintendent, fills his head with stories about the Dream Folk.

In his fantasy world, the Sanctuary, Charles adventures with faeries and sprites and his two imaginary best friends. There, Charles's bullies become ogres, and Glory opens his arms wide to transform into a dragon. But when trolls move into Charles’ apartment building and bring with them a terrible secret, the stories he has been told and the ones he brings to life grow more complicated. To protect everyone he cares about, Charles must harness his imagination in ways he never dreamed, in this unique story of the spaces and narratives we create for ourselves, and the ways in which fantasy and reality collide and blur.

Product Details

On sale: August 6, 2024
Age: 10 and up
Grade: Grades 6-12
Page count: 400 Pages
ISBN: 9780593572450
Reading level: Lexile: HL550L | Fountas/Pinnell: Y

Author Bio

Cameron Roberson, who writes under the pen name Rob Cameron, is a teacher, linguist, and writer. He has poetry, stories, and essays, in Star*Line, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Foreign Policy Magazine, Tor.com, New Modality, Solarpunk Magazine, Clockwork Phoenix Five, and others. Daydreamer is his debut middle grade novel. Rob is also lead organizer for the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers and executive producer of Kaleidocast.nyc.


"An achingly well written story about the blurry line between reality and magic in childhood—and the heartbreaking ways it can be shattered."
—Shannon Chakraborty, New York Times best-selling author.

“Cameron's sentences are laden with magic, stuffed to spilling with the stuff of dreams. Through them, he takes us on a journey that's personal, poignant, phantasmagoric, and profound.”
—Carlos Hernandez, Pura Belpré Award winning author of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

“Charming truths melt into harsh lessons about danger, bravery, persistence, and Charles' growing strength in this fast-paced coming-of-power delight.”
—Nisi Shawl, multiple award-winning author of Speculation, Everfair, and Kinning

There’s magic on every page of [this] mesmerizing, unpredictable story rooted in the sights, sounds, and smells of The City....Daydreamer is a tale that will capture the imagination of adults and children alike.’ 
-Milton J. Davis, author of Amber and the Hidden City