This was one of the books that changed my life as a child. I just reread it as an adult for a grad school essay, and I still love it. It's probably one of my favorite books of all time. It's an entertaining story with relatable characters for children, but it also has a lot for adult readers to think about. The book explores the issues surrounding poverty vs wealth and innovation/change vs tradition. The book shows how some parents relate differently to female children and male children. It shows the difficulties of male/female friendship in elementary school. It confronts issues about gender and how society believes that boys and girls should behave. Best of all, it shows that imagination is important, fears can be conquered, and belief in yourself is essential.