I should say right up front that I'm not fond of books that use death as an object lesson. I hated reading them as a kid because it seemed like the sole goal of the author was to make me cry, to manipulate me into "feeling," as though kids needs lessons in that! But I didn't read this as a kid. I read it about 10 years ago and really enjoyed the writing. There are many good lines in it and I thought Patterson did a good job portraying the joy kids have creating a magical land for themselves.