Yes, I gave this book a R** rating; one star just wasn’t good enough. This is Sue Cowing’s first novel and it is absolutely brilliant! I can’t say enough good things about it. Parker is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his mom. He tries to get along and do what he is supposed to do, but the thing is, he really doesn’t know what he wants; he’s easily influenced by others. Parker and his best friend, Wren, are bicycling through a junkyard when Parker finds an ugly hand puppet and, on a lark, puts it on. Funny thing is, he can’t get it off. No matter how hard he pulls, the puppet squeezes painfully tight and won’t come off. Then the puppet begins to talk to him. His name is Drog and he has lived many lifetimes all over the world. He loves to reminisce about previous times and is quite an attention getter and lover. That’s when Parker’s trouble really starts. At school, Drog comments and talks back and makes questionable remarks. Parker is sent to the principal’s office, who, along with Parker’s mom, decides he needs to see a therapist. The therapist is okay, however, it’s when Parker meets Sensei that he finds someone to help him. Sensei invites Parker to join his Aikido class and that is where Parker learns how to understand what he wants. He learns how to talk to others and understand how they feel. He has made a real breakthrough and, apparently, what has been troubling him is his relationship with his father. His father moved to another city for a job, divorced, and now has a new wife and daughter. Parker didn’t know how he fit into his dad’s life anymore, but Drog and Sensei together, gave Parker the courage to make the first step towards building a relationship. Even at the end of the book, I didn’t know if Drog was really magical or if it was Parker using him as an alter ego, which is what everyone else thought. No matter because it was a terrific story. My only complaint is that the book jacket art is ugly and almost stopped me from reading this book.