I bought this at the Scholastic Store a couple years back -- but only got around to reading it recently. It was simple and fun. It is interesting to compare the works of M. T. Anderson and Daniel Pinkwater. They both write irreverent stories of magical worlds that contain deep topics, and personal exploration. But one difference I can't help noting -- Anderson's stories seem to center around friends, whereas Pinkwater's normally have protagonists that are loners.
Anyway, this was charming and fun. And I'm pleased to say that the twist at the end caught me totally off guard! It is interesting that it is a rewrite of something Anderson wrote as a teenager! I learned this from the "AfterWords" section at the end of the book, which is something like DVD extras for a book -- an interesting idea. I wonder if it will catch on?
It could be a movie... I bet it has already been optioned... but I wonder if it will become one? The right director could make it a masterpiece.