The Gollywhopper Games
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The Gollywhopper Games (The Gollywhopper Games #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,633 ratings  ·  340 reviews
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 comp...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published March 1st 2008)
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When You Reach Me by Rebecca SteadEllie McDoodle by Ruth McNally BarshawThe Gollywhopper Games by Jody FeldmanOut of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
3rd out of 52 books — 14 voters
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
To Be Read at Least 5 Times Kinds of Books!
20th out of 66 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

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Gwen the Librarian
This is one of the most fun and easy to recommend books I've read in a long, long time. It's like a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a new generation, set in a toy factory, rather than chocolate, and with much more satisfying games.

Gil is trying his hardest to get into The Gollywhopper Games, a contest sponsered by Golly Toy & Game Company. The winner gets all kinds of money and great prizes, but what Gil is hoping to win is some self-respect. His dad used to be an employee of Golly bu...more
This is a fun read. It reminds me of both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Westing Game. Lots of fun word and number puzzles to solve along the way. Put it in the hands of any 10-year old boys you know.
I picked up this gem of a book Monday night and finished 2 hours later. This fast paced, 308 page, children's fiction book revolves around Gil Goodson and his hopes to be able to participate in the Golly-Whopper Games. This book had a VERY familiar feel...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came to mind, and in the back of the book the author says she wrote it because a child wanted a book like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and nobody could find one for him.

Keeping in mind this book is set in...more
Lara Ivey
Twelve-year old Gil Goodson is ready to join the Gollywhopper Games. After months of being in the shadows of his father being wrongly accused of embezzling money from the Golly Toy and Game Company, the time has come to set things straight. It’s the 50th anniversary of the company and Gil thinks that if he can win the grand prize his family will be able to move out of town and be rid of “The Incident” and start fresh. Through challenging puzzles and riddles, tricky trivia, and crazy stunts, he c...more
Boys and girls who loved reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or who like to solve riddles and puzzles will thoroughly enjoy reading "The Gollywhopper Games." Young Gil Goodson has a strong reason for why he wants to win the 50th annual Gollywhopper Games, sponsored by the major toy company in town, Golly Toy & Game Company. His father, who used to work for the toy company, was accused and acquitted of embezzling company funds the previous year, but many people still thought he did it...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anvi Brahmbhatt
The book "The Gollywhopper Games" by Jody Feldman is a story about how people's words really do influence a person's actions and desicions. When the Gollywhopper Games arrive, a competition at a very popular toy company (and his dad's ex-company), a deal with his dad changes young Gil Goodson's life. His dad had been a former employee, until he was accussed of stealing money from the company even though he was innocent, and had been sent to jail. Even after he was found innocent, Gil's schoolma...more
My 9-year old son chose this book for his next book project. It is a bit of a modern take on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", but without the delightful nonsense, the crazy wit, or the strange figure of Willy Wonka. The Golly Toy company organizes the Gollywhopper Games. Gil, son of a discredited former employee, decides to participate. He forms a team with a ditzy blonde, a muscle man, a rich boy and a shy bookworm. The Games mainly consist of puzzles and riddles. Of course he wins in the e...more
Catherine J
In the book The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman the authors prospective is that life is all about having fun and games but if you make a mistake life might not be fun and games any more. The book mainly takes place in University Stadium because this is where the games are being held. Gil the main character lives in a house with his parents but they are never home. The story is being told from Gil's point of view. Gil is the main character in this story , he is a very smart boy . For the game...more
Julie Carpenter
Wow!!! What can I say besides this book being such a fun, adventurous, fast paced read. My daughter picked it out a few years ago as a prize for finishing the summer reading program. She then refused to touch it because it didn't sound like what she wanted to read. She loves to read but has a hard time getting lost in books and wanting to finish them.

She came to me a week ago and asked if I would read it to her. I love reading to my kids. If I am reading out loud I have to have the voices and so...more
I've decided I'm going to stop taking book recommendations from Steph. Imagine Willy Wonka's amazingness. Then take everything good from that book and replace it with pure crap and now you have this book. I thought the puzzles being discussed would actually be solvable but in order to do that you'd have to know gollywhoppers crap products. But the characters would solve these problems in like ten seconds. There were just way too many holes in this book. I guess the moral was solid, but this book...more
 Pam Browning
I really liked this book. It reminded me a little of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but was different enough to be orginal.
Myah's reading this for her literacy class & told me she really thinks I should read it too. :) So I did, and it was actually quite good!
One Sentence Review: If I could slap a big label on any book with the word "Fun" it would be this one, no question.
Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman is a book that you never want to stop reading, it is a story about how people's words really do influence a person's actions and decisions. Gil Goodson is on a mission to win the Gollywhopper Game, clear his dads name after the “incident” and move away from all the gossip/ rumors that are going around. Gil has to figure puzzles out and solve trivia before everyone else. Every step he takes he is being broadcasted, all the little mistake mean a lot. Even being f...more
Jun 14, 2010 Raina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: funny, j
This is an example of a book which needs different packaging.
Gil is a contestant in the Gollywhopper Games, a reality TV show/multi-stage obstacle course and word game put on by a major toy company. The book follows Gil as he solves many different puzzles, some of which can be solved by the audience as he goes. The stakes are especially high for Gil - his father used to work for the toy company, and was accused of embezzlement, leaving the organization in disgrace. Gil has a lot to prove.
Jodi Papazian
2012 Nutmeg nominee for Children.

So far, The Gollywhopper Games, has been my favorite 2011 nominee. I was a little worried at first that this book would be a board-game version/rip-off of Willy Wonka. However, I was treated to an original story full of fantastical fun and interesting characters.

Gil has had a difficult year and a half. After his father is very publicly fired from the Golly Toy Company (for embezzlement) he faces a lot of bullying from the kids at school. In spite of the trial t...more
Alyssa Calhoun
Twenty-five thousand kids are competing in the Golly-Whopper Games, with a chance to win all of the companies toys and games, as well as a college scholarship and a load of money. For one kid, Gil Goodson, the games represent more than that--if he wins, his dad has agreed to move their family out of Orchard Heights. Gil's father was accused, though found not-guilty, of embezzling thousands of dollars from the company while he worked there. The kids at school treated Gil terribly, but they couldn...more
2012 Nutmeg nominee for Children.

So far, The Gollywhopper Games, has been my favorite 2011 nominee. I was a little worried at first that this book would be a board-game version/rip-off of Willy Wonka. However, I was treated to an original story full of fantastical fun and interesting characters.

Gil has had a difficult year and a half. After his father is very publicly fired from the Golly Toy Company (for embezzlement) he faces a lot of bullying from the kids at school. In spite of the trial tha...more
Bookmarks Reviews
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Today, in honor of Friday (not really) I bring you The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman. A middle grade read that I (who am not middle grade anymore) think is interesting, The Gollywhopper Games are the story of twelve-year-old Gil’s experience with – no surprise here – the Gollywhopper Games, a contest put on by Golly Toy & Game Company that has unimaginable prizes. A college tuition and every toy the company has ever sold or will ever sell are only the kick-off prizes....more
Connor Wilcox
1. The Golly Whopper Games
2. Jody Feldman
3. Children
4. Golly Whopper toy company puts on a competition every year to see who really knows the most about their company. Kids have to opportunity to compete for the ultimate prize of more money then they could ever imagine. There are many twists that you do not see coming which will keep you on the edge of your seat. Will Gil win the games? Read this book to find out!
5. One theme to this book is to not let your past haunt you. Gil's dad used to work...more
Carrie Rzeppa
I decided to read this book upon my son's recommendation, as he LOVED it when his 5th grade teacher read it aloud to the class last spring. I was not disappointed. To me, this book is a combination of the whimsy and vivid imagination of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and the brain-teasing quizzes from "Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School." The main character, Gil, is competing in a intense competition at the town's infamous Gollywhopper Toy Company in order to win amazing prizes that wi...more
Reading Vacation
Review available on Reading Vacation Blog.

There are two reasons I chose this book from the library shelf. One – a fun and colorful title and cover. Two – The Golly-Whoppers Games was a Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee for 2009-2010. Bluebonnet books are always winners for me!

This book tells the story of Gil Goodson, a tween boy who dreams big. Ever since his father has been falsely accused of stealing from the Golly Toy & Games Company, life has been miserable for Gi...more
Mar 24, 2008 Wordwizard rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my little brother.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Bennett
When my reading teacher recommended this book to me I did not think it would be something I would enjoy. I thought it would be a book my 6 year old sister would love to hear me read to her (which she probably would) but it is so much more than that! With twists and turns you will never see coming, The Gollywhopper Games is a MUST-READ!
The Gollywhopper Games is about a boy named Gil Goodson who enters a competition called the Gollywhopper Games, which is hosted by the Golly Toy & Game Company...more
Gil Goodson is determined to win The Gollywhopper Games after his dad was falsely accused of embezzling funds from the company. One problem: Gil has to out-solve, out-puzzle, and be faster at it than any of the other thousands of kids who are competing for the fabulous prize.

At every turn, someone is smarter, sneakier, or quicker than Gil...but he has done his homework and he is really, REALLY good at puzzles. Will it be enough? He sure hopes so, since his dad said that could move anywhere he w...more
This was a fun book in the same vein as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. I read it in one sitting, so that is always a good sign of a book that holds your attention. The characters didn't have a whole lot of depth, but the story was fun and I was rooting on Gil the whole way. I was very impressed by the puzzles in this book. Yes, many of them followed similar patterns to puzzles that have been used many times before, but probably most kids reading the b...more
Writing this review on behalf of my 8-year-old daughter: "I really liked it. It was suspenseful. The book is about the Gollywhopper Games. The Gollywhopper Games are puzzles and trivia that contestants need to solve in order to win. The contestants are all children. If you liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I think you'll like this book."
Gollywhopper Games features an inventive ride of riddles, puzzles and good vs bad. It is, like most kids and YA lit, a bildungsroman. Young Gil Goodson is determined to play the Gollywhopper Games, a massive, one-day competition involving teamwork, mental gymnastics, math and reading skills, and personal fortitude. The winner is allotted a paid college tuition, plus all the games and toys invented by the Golly Game and Toy company in it's existence. Plus, for Gil, it is a chance to redeem himsel...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Gil Goodson has been studying for months, cramming information and trivia about the Golly Toy & Game Company. If he’s lucky, he’ll be a contestant at The Gollywhopper Games, a trivia, puzzle and stunt contest sponsored by his town’s candy factory. If you like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, go on this competitive challenge with Gil. Solving riddles and puzzles is only part of the fun. Gil has to sniff out the cheaters before they sabotage his chances and figure out which competitors are f...more
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Jody Feldman never knew she always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. If you’d cornered her as a kid, she’d have mentioned doctor or teacher, but that was just an answer. Her passions ran more toward treasure hunter, codebreaker, movie director, or inventor, but her practical side couldn’t imagine how to get there.

Her path to writing meandered through the University of Missouri School of Jou...more
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The Seventh Level The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion Golfer's Night Before Christmas, A (Night Before Christmas (Gibbs)) The Gollywhopper Games: Friend or Foe

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