M.K. Reed and Jonathan Hill's Americus (2011) is one of those lovely books about books - about fantasy books, in particular, and what they really mean. Often the conversation about the 'value' of fantasy gets side-tracked into one about escapism - which, yes, is an easily-grasped benefit of fantasy, but far from the only one. Moreover, to debate whether escapism has value is to ignore fantasy's worth as a mechanic for dealing with reality.
Fortunately, Americus goes for the hard stuff.
Fantasy - in this case, The Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde - is definitely escapist. Americus' protagonist, the teenage bookworm Neil Barton, values the series - a sort of Harry Potter clone - as a means of 'hiding' from the real world. But as the events of Americus unfold, he and the reader both learn that a good book is more than a shield.
But, boy, you can understand why he wanting it so much. Americus itself is an Everywhere, USA, the archetypical small town (the rest of the book is a lot more subtle than the title). Neil and his best friend Danny are just your 'normal' geeks - trying to get through life and hormones and the awkwardness of everyday existence. Which, as eighth-graders, can be pretty awkward indeed.