John Wyndham, perhaps most well known for The Day of the Triffids, has left an indelible mark on the world of science fiction. His books always place the unreal and supernatural in very real and identifiable settings, with reasonable characters trying to deal with wild events. His slender novel, Chocky, is a kinder, gentler science fiction tale of a child possessed by an alien… really.
Matthew is a normal boy until one day he creates an imaginary friend named Chocky who empowers the boy with sudden abilities he didn't have before. Doing math problems in binary, drawing with the skill of an accomplished artiste, and learning to swim within minutes – it's strange and disturbing to his parents, but no one can figure out how or why.
While the story is not the most earth shattering, it's nice to read a more optimistic viewpoint of invaders from other planets and I'm sure this was a welcome relief to children afraid of space invaders prepared to suck their brains.
The book led to a popular British television series that envisioned sequels to the book.