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‘Your Pal Fred’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Michael Rex
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers


How would one have ever believed that the power of love and friendship could conquer and unite a hellish, post-apocalyptic landscape? That question essentially sums up the premise of  Michael Rex’s delightful Your Pal Fred.

At first glance, readers may confuse My Pal Fred with a children’s book.

This confusion would make absolute sense as Michael Rex is a prolific author of children’s books. Rex has written over forty-five books, including the number one bestseller Goodnight Goon. However, while its simple storytelling and art may seem childish, My Pal Fred is a deep, complex story about the power of love, loyalty, friendship, and perseverance.

In a savage world in the distant future, Fred, a life-size toy, is activated.

Fred is a super-nice kid in an ultra-mean world. Fred was created to be everyone’s best friend. Therefore he has unwavering faith in humanity and kindness despite every hardship.

Even after the world’s end, Fred remains determined to make the world a better place.

No matter the peril, kicked out of the castle, pitted against an unstoppable for in a robot arena, or strapped atop a pole in a lightning storm, Fred will never stop. Determined to make the world a better place, Fred is dead set on making two rival warlords, Lord Bonkers and Papa Mayhem, into best friends.

With all the bleakness surrounding us today, readers will find Your Pal Fred a refreshing but straightforward read, making them true believers in the power of unrelenting kindness and friendship.

Final Score: 5 of 5 Stars

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