Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Gollywhopper Games

The Gollywhopper Games
by Jody Feldman

Are you ready?

Gil Goodson's future happiness depends on winning the Golly Toy & Game Company's ultimate competition. If Gil wins, his dad has promised that the family can move away from all the gossip, false friends, and bad press that have plagued them ever since The Incident. Inside the toy company's fantastic headquarters, Gil will have to master trivia, solve puzzles, and complete physical stunts—and he'll have to do it better than all of the other kids competing.

Oh, and did we mention that Gil's every step—and every mistake—will be broadcast on national television? Hold on tight, because the ride of his life is about to begin! (description from

I love riddles. I love toys. I love the fantastic. Is it any wonder, I loved The Gollywhopper Games?? Reminiscent of Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Feldman even states this was one of her inspirations), this book again captures the wonder that children can find in almost anything and there is nothing more exciting than going through a giant toy factory if you are under...well, let's say 75~ lol.

I loved the concept of the games that these kids got to participate in. I was trying to solve the puzzles right alongside. The only thing I thought could have been improved was that in some spots, the author presents the riddles as they are being solved, giving the reader little time to try to solve them on their own. A great example of books with riddles that you can try to solve "before" the kids is The Mysterious Benedict Society series.

I loved not only just the fantastical things in this book, but also Gil's family's storyline. Poor Gil has been ostracized because people think his father stole from the Golly Toy & Game Company. When the truth is finally revealed, I cheered! It was a good and pretty believable ending. A bad guy who was bad, but not totally... well done.

For a quick and fun read, try picking up this great middle grade puzzle book!

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