It is good to have a hero. I have wanted to have one for a long time, but just didn’t know it. Then I met Neddie Wentworthstein, protagonist of Daniel Pinkwater’s The Neddiad: How Neddie took the Train, Went to Hollywood, And Saved Civilization. sigh. That was a sigh of contentment. Neddie is perfect for me. He’s a happy kid, truly cheerful, and ready for any adventure that comes along. He reminds me that our lives are full of adventure, they really are. I mean, look at your parents: Who could have imagined them? Not to mention spouses and children and friends! Yes! We get to have friends in this crazy adventure, like Yggdrasil Birnbaum (who appears later in the book). When Neddie asks her if people call her Iggy, she says, “Yes they do—once. Then I pop them in the nose. Care to give it a try, military school boy?” My friends say cool things like this ALL the time! I bet yours do, too. Neddy makes me happy. He does go to a military school, because his friend Seamus goes there, but it’s a military school run by retired movie actors, so it’s different from what you might expect. The book is crazier than a box of weasels (chapter 17). There’s a shaman named Melvin, an actual mastadon, a ghost bellboy, the La Brea Tar Pits. sigh. It’s heaven. I may just have to read it again. Mr. Pinkwater, thanks for Neddie.