Jodi Papazian's Reviews > The Gollywhopper Games

The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman
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Jun 13, 11

bookshelves: children-s-books
Read in May, 2011

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 that finds his father's innocence, Gil and his family are still treated like criminals. Gil decides to enter the Gollywhopper Games to win the monetary prize that will allow him and his family to move far away from their town and start fresh. Once he wins his admission into the games, he needs to prove his abilities against thousands of competitors.
The Games are not easy for Gil. His fellow competitors, and even the company's president, all see him as a cheater and are determined to get him disqualified for the games. In addition to proving himself, Gil finds he also has an opportunity to clear his father's name.

This was a quick and fun read. Although there were a few illustrations peppered through the story, I wish that they had been more of the Toy Factory and not the random characters. It would have been fun to see some of the games described illustrated.

This will be an easy recommendation to summer readers and, as I am halfway through the nominees now, it is my frontrunner for the 2011 favorite.
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