The Wild Things, By Dave Eggers

Billed as the "companion to the major film, Where the Wild Things Are", this book could have been a horribly rushed, commercially compromised effort, and perhaps in less gifted hands it would have been. But Dave Eggers has a genuine love of writing for children and he knows better than to try to short-change his young readers.

Max is an angry little boy, whom his sister prefers to ignore and his mother weeps over. After his sister's friends destroy his snow fort, he soaks her bedroom and everything changes: subsequent cheekiness has his mother yelling and Max running away. He sets off in a boat, arriving at an island full of strange beasts who make him their king. The beasts themselves are, of course, mirror images of the people in Max's real life, and many of the events are twisted versions of what has occurred back at home: how else can Max learn what he has done wrong, and how to fix it?

Eggers' fluid prose style has never been more appealing.